For once, the forwarded message you may have received in your family WhatsApp group was not fake after all.
If you, like us, received 'news' about an Influenza A outbreak via the messaging platform in the past few weeks, you may have also questioned its authenticity (as you should).
Turns out, the outbreak is real and is fast becoming worrying.
On Friday (10 January), The New Straits Times reported that there have been 22 Influenza A cases reported in Selangor, with two schools being closed.
The daily said that 20 students and one teacher from Sekolah Kebangsaan Cyberjaya were diagnosed with the viral infection, and a pair of siblings in Klang also tested positive for Influenza A.
Selangor Health Director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman told the daily that despite the outbreak, the situation is under control.
Meanwhile, in Penang, a total of 52 students from several schools have been infected as of 9 January.
Despite it being a really small number, it's wise to take extra precaution as the virus is undoubtedly going around.
What is Influenza A?
Influenza, also known as flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a type of virus. It spreads easily as the disease is airborne.
It's not just runny nose and tiredness, mind you.
Influenza can cause severe illness, even leading to deaths but this is not very common.
According to Medical News Today, it can also escalate other conditions such as heart diseases, asthma and diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
If you're a generally healthy person above the age of five and below the age of 65, the symptoms and effect of the flu may not be as severe as those with other medical conditions.
Seek medical advise if you're feeling fatigued, experiencing nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, fever, chill or a combination of any of these symptoms.
Some people, including pregnant women, children, elderly people and people with other medical conditions, may also experience addditional symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting (usually in children), shortness of breath, severe pain, severe weakness and more.
How to stay safe?
The only way to stay safe is to limit your contact with those who've been diagnosed with the illness.
You should also wash your hands often, wear a mask when you're going out in public, stay home if you're sick and generally, just take good care of your health and those around you.
Remember to stay safe, guys!