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Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

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The infected patients included 36 monks in Takeo, 46 in Battambang, 17 in Tbong Khmum and 26 in Banteay Meanchey provinces. AKP

Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said.

The ministry is advising extreme caution.

A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15 and September 18.

It said the infected patients included 36 monks in Takeo, 46 in Battambang, 17 in Tbong Khmum and 26 in Banteay Meanchey provinces.

There were also 169 inmates in Koh Kong province and 147 in Preah Vihear province. A group of 57 prisoners in Kampong Thom province are still receiving treatment, Vandine’s report said.

Besides monks and inmates, 67 community members living in the Som Thom Health Center area in O’Yadav district, Ratanakkiri province, tested positive.

“In response to influenza, the working groups of the eight provincial health departments have been active and responsive in preventing the spread of the disease and providing treatment to monks and people.

In Kampong Thom province, 15 per cent have recovered,” said Vandine.

She told The Post on Sunday that as of September 20, there were no new cases of influenza. The Ministry of Health also announced that no new Covid-19 cases were discovered in Cambodia during the Pchum Ben holidays.

“Laboratory analysis of these cases from the National Institute of Public Health [NIPH] and the Institute Pasteur du Cambodge showed that there were no Covid-19 cases but tests were positive for the influenza A virus [H3N2], which is also communicable,” Vandine said.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng called on all monks across the country to take preventive measures as instructed by doctors to avoid the spread of influenza.

Bun Heng said the measures include personal hygiene and a clean living environment, especially washing hands. Masks should be used, especially when entering a pagoda or in a crowded place, and when coughing or sneezing, cover the mouth and nose with a towel, scarf or tissues.

“They must know how to maintain a personal safety distance of 1.5m or more. Monks or people with influenza or infectious diseases need to remain separate from other monks or people who are not infected to avoid transmission.

“Avoid direct contact with mammals and birds. If exposed, they should wash their hands with soap as soon as possible before touching objects or before touching their face,” Bun Heng said.

He also advised people to drink warm boiled water and eat well-cooked food. Food should be kept hygienic and if there is a health problem, the people should not participate in any ceremonies.

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