Samoa reports increase in influenza amongst children

The number of children infected with influenza in Samoa has tripled in just over two weeks.

The Director General of the Ministry of Health Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma confirmed this in a press conference where he also expressed his concern about the increased number of children affected with type B flu reports Tala Fou.

He said about 3 months ago a total of 1200 children were infected, however he said in comparison to 3 or 4 weeks ago the number has jumped to 250 children reported to the hospital per day.

He further said that in March, 1,915 children were reported to the clinic, but just last week the number has increased to 2,441

Aiono said that is why the ministry submitted a recommendation to the Cabinet, to close schools for another week. In doing so Aiono added it will reduce the wide spread of influenza amongst the children.

According to Aiono, his biggest concern is on the number of limited beds available at the paediatric ward.

He said 70 children were admitted and only 54 beds available.

He said other children were referred to district hospitals to cater for the shortage of beds.

So far about 70 patients are admitted at the main hospital with severe symptoms of flu.

They suffered shortness of breath, loss of appetite and vomiting.

The Cabinet issued a directive yesterday afternoon confirming that all schools will be closed for one week starting on Monday.


Photo Tala Fou