Influenza-like illnesses slightly rose in 2023 — infectious disease expert
MANILA, Philippines — There has been a slight increase in influenza-like diseases in the country in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to infectious diseases doctor and Philippine College of Physicians President Rontgene Solante on Wednesday.
Solante, also part of the Department of Health (DOH), said that the agency has discussed the possibilities as to why there was an apparent increase.
“Kung titingnan natin iyong trend last year comparing it this year, more or less, the same; medyo may kaunting increase lang this year ‘no. Kaya nakikita natin most regions are experiencing this, iyong tinatawag natin na influenza-like illness: ubo, sakit ng katawan, sore throat, and some of them may have fever,” said Solante in the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing.
(If we look at the trend from last year and compare it to this year, it is more or less the same. This year just had a slight increase. That is why we are seeing that most regions are experiencing this: what we call influenza-like illness—cough, body pain, sore throat, and some may have fever.)
INQUIRER.net has reached out to the DOH for data on influenza-like illnesses from 2022 to 2023, but it has yet to respond.
Solante explained, however, that this is likely due to the colder season, as well as the rainy weather. He said that this year had similar increase patterns as 2022.
“Starting August, September to October, November, and early part of January, the Philippines experiences more influenza-like illnesses,” Solante said in a mix of English and Filipino.