Influenza-like illnesses up by 49% – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — Cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) in the country rose by 49 percent this year compared to the previous year, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Based on data from the DOH, the country logged a total of 171,067 ILIs as of Oct. 28, 2023, much higher than 114,536 cases recorded in the same period in 2022.
“Looking at the trend this 2023, cases have started to increase during late August on morbidity week (MW) 34 and a higher number of cases was sustained over the next four weeks,” the DOH said.
Despite this, the DOH noted that cases have “plateaued” in the past three to four weeks – as a total of 11,855 ILIs were recorded from Oct. 1 to 14, which is roughly the same as the cases recorded two weeks prior at 11,801.
The DOH attributed the surge in cases to the rainy season where a rise in ILI is usually expected.
“Based on the five-year data, the recent rise in ILI cases is expected and can be attributed to the rainy season. Moreover, we anticipate the cases to decrease in the coming weeks,” the DOH added.
The DOH reminded the public to use layers of protection — such as masking or isolating — when sick to prevent respiratory infections from further increasing.
It also urged the public to always ensure adequate ventilation and to get vaccinated or boosted to provide additional protection against infection or severe diseases.