Influenza-Like Illness outbreak declared in Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MOH) has seen an increase in patients attending health facilities in the last three weeks suffering from Influenza-like illness/Respiratory Illness, commonly known as the Flu.

MOH said the number of new cases increased nationally by 10 percent from the previous week.

According to the ministry, testing has been conducted at Vila Central Hospital Lab and confirmed Influenza A H1N1, Influenza B, Adenovirus, Rhinovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Covid-19.

The increase of cases has crossed the National Influenza-Like Illness threshold and the ministry has declared an outbreak of Influenza-Like Illness.

The ministry is recommending that the public take action to prevent getting infected and if individuals are experiencing flu-like symptoms, to visit their nearest health facility.

“Whilst there has been an increase in influenza-like illness cases, the Ministry wishes to clarify that since 2023 there have been no deaths caused by Influenza.”

The ministry through the National Disease Surveillance Programme is currently monitoring the situation across all the provinces.

Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by different influenza viruses and other respiratory viruses.

It is common throughout the world, and generally there is an increase of cases during winter/wet season periods. In Vanuatu the cool dry season is from May to October every year.

People with influenza generally experience some or all the following symptoms:

Fever either reported or measured (38°C) PLUS

  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Sore throat
  • Other symptoms can include a runny nose, headache, muscle and joint pains, and fatigue (severe tiredness).


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Tensly Sumbe