The arrival of the rainy season in Panama is accompanied by viral illnesses, such as the common cold, influenza and gastroenteritis. The causes are the proliferation of vector mosquitoes such as dengue, germs due to the accumulation of garbage in the streets and poor hygiene when handling food, are some of these cases.
The Directorate of Hydrometeorology of the Electricity Transmission Company (ETESA), stated on its website that May to July will be the first months of the rainy season in Panama, so the Ministry of Health (MINSA) has begun to place the Influenza vaccinations ahead of time, when respiratory illnesses are on the rise.
“Influenza is a viral disease produced by a series of viruses known as Influenza, of which there are 4 subtypes: A, B, C and D. Those known as A and B are those that can cause epidemics in humans, such case of Influenza A (H1N1, H3N2) and Influenza B (Yamagata and Victoria). In Panama, between 40 to 50 people died annually, and since 2017 there have been three cases due to the massive campaign that began in 2016,” said the Minister of Health Miguel Mayo, in an opinion article on the MINSA website.
For this purpose, Vaccination Week of the Americas was held to strengthen the body’s defenses and prevent diseases. In addition, the health entity executes the campaign “let’s eliminate the breeding sites to avoid: Dengue, Zika and Chicungunya”, in order to sensitize the population and prevent the spread of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, transmitter of these viruses.
According to MINSA, the Republic of Panama presented a 20% decrease in influenza cases in 2017, compared to 2016. For this year, less spread is expected since the entity received 15 million vaccines against this virus, which have been distributed in Health Centers and Polyclinics to apply them to the population.
The most vulnerable are children from 1 to 4 years old, pregnant women and patients with chronic diseases, they are the groups that have priority to receive this care annually. And it is that the influenza vaccine must be administered every year, because the subtypes that circulate vary from one year to another and from one region to another.
It only remains to be aware of the fixed and mobile posts, where health professionals, who duly identified, will be placing the vaccines. Have your control card handy, as they will also visit schools and shopping centers.
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