CoV2 most common cause of flu-like illnesses | Inquirer News
SINCE 2020

CoV2 most common cause of flu-like illnesses

/ 05:48 AM December 22, 2023

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been the most common cause of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) in the country since the pandemic in 2020, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH).

Among those tested with RT-PCR test, an overwhelming majority of ILI cases nationwide were traced to the virus SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 (with 1,194 cases), 2021 (with 8,247 cases), and 2022 (3,541 cases).

ILI infections in 2020 and 2021 with SARS-CoV-2 as the causative agent were found in about 98 percent of the total cases in both years. In 2022, ILI cases found to have been caused by SARS-CoV-2 accounted for around 89 percent of the total.


From Jan. 1 to Sept. 16 this year, SARS-CoV-2 remained the leading causative agent of ILI at a total of 536 cases, comprising 44.69 percent of the total samples tested.


It was followed by influenza A (15.54 percent), rhinovirus (11.05 percent), and parainfluenza (8.8 percent).

The rest were influenza B (3.18 percent), adenovirus (2.68 percent), enterovirus (1.87 percent), and respiratory syncytial virus (1.69 percent).

Before the COVID-19 health crisis, influenza A and parainfluenza were the top two causes of ILI infections in the country in 2019. These were followed by influenza B.

Higher than last year

The World Health Organization defines ILI as an acute respiratory infection with a measured fever of 38 degrees Celsius and above, accompanied by a cough within the last 10 days.

According to infectious diseases specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante, historical data show that ILI infections occur throughout the year in tropical countries like the Philippines.

“It usually peaks between September and January of the following year,” he said in an online forum on Tuesday.


According to the DOH, there were 193,148 influenza-like illnesses reported nationwide from Jan. 1 to Dec. 2 this year. The number was 33 percent higher than the confirmed ILI infections in the same period in 2022.

READ: Case increase of flu-like illnesses in PH slowing down — DOH

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: flu, flu-like illnesses, SARS Cov2

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.