The month of May marks the start of the first flu season in Singapore. Flu, also known as influenza, is unpredictable and causes a significant burden globally each year, placing strain on healthcare systems and the economy.
Public-health authorities consider seasonal flu to be a serious public health concern, not only causing severe illness and death, but also taking a considerable economic toll through lost workforce productivity and strained health services.
Each year, Singapore’s annual seasonal influenza epidemics result in more than 520,000 outpatient visits, approximately 1,500 hospitalisations, 600 deaths, and 315,000 workdays lost, according to figures from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Dr Ong Kian Chung, respiratory medicine specialist at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre shares some facts about the flu:
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