SINGAPORE – Two employees at Citibank Singapore have been diagnosed with the influenza A (H1N1) virus, Lianhe Wanbao reported on Wednesday night. Another 8 employees are suspected to have contracted the virus as well, the Chinese daily said.
Influenza is generally a mild illness that usually results in full recovery, though sometimes complications such as pneumonia may occur.
There are three seasonal influenza strains that circulate year-round in Singapore – influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B. These strains are also circulating throughout the world, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
“The public should not be alarmed,” a MOH spokesperson said.
MOH added that an annual influenza vaccination is recommended to protect against influenza, particularly for children aged six months to five years, adults aged 65 years and older, and individuals with chronic illnesses.
“To minimise the spread of influenza, members of the public should practise good personal hygiene and social responsibility. Persons who are ill should also stay home from work/school and avoid crowded places when sick.
“Individuals are urged to maintain good personal hygiene at all times to prevent the spread of respiratory infections: Washing hands with soap or alcohol-based hand cleaner when the hands have come into contact with saliva or nose drainage (e.g. after they have sneezed or coughed onto their hands). Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throwing the tissue away into a bin immediately. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces at least daily and when visibly soiled by saliva or nose drainage,” MOH said in an advisory.
In October last year, the media reported on a cluster of influenza cases at a childcare centre in Pasir Ris. Eight children attending the Aces Montessori Kidz (Downtown East) were down with the flu and another 10 children had flu-like symptoms.
Two children were kept under observation for two days. The other 16 either self-medicated or received outpatient treatment, MOH said. It was not revealed which strain of influenza they had been infected with.