Uganda’s government has announced that the recent rise in cases of flu and cough among school-going children, teachers and in communities is not related to Covid19 infections.
There has been worry that there could be several cases of Covid19 in schools after many in school environments experienced persistent flu, cough and high temperatures.
The cough and flu cases were reported a few weeks after schools reopened their gates to learners following almost two years of closure over the Covid19 pandemic.
Recently, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng’s Ministry of Health said it was investigating the cases of flu and cough among learners (Read Story Here).
But State Minister for Primary Education Joyce Moriku Kaducu has revealed that samples collected from a school in Wakiso indicated that the learners tested were Covid19 negative. Minister Kaducu noted that MoH officials had collected samples from 198 of the 431 people who had symptoms some suspected to be of coronavirus. But all the samples turned out negative for SARS CoV2, the virus that causes Covid19.
Nonetheless, the results point to the outbreak of influenza in schools and communities. According to Minister Moriku, 58 of the 198 samples tested were positive for Influenza A while two were positive for Influenza B.
The minister says that there are normally cases of influenza in places of mass concentration such as schools in the months of February and March.
The influenza may in some cases be caused by the change in weather, such as when there is a switch from the dry to the wet season and vice versa.
Minister Kaducu says there is nothing much to worry about.
She advised parents and schools to ensure that children are kept hydrated all the time by giving them plenty of water and juice.
She also advised schools not to send the sick learners home but to rather admit them in sick bays.