She said it was normal for people to experience flu-like illnesses at this time of the year.
Dr May said flu like symptoms were normally triggered by fluctuations in weather. Lately, Rarotonga has been experiencing both rain and sunshine with cold evenings.
Dr May said some of the early symptoms of the variety of flu affecting Rarotonga residents at present included fever, body aches, coughing and runny noses.
“We have had some flu cases which are normal and surely not an epidemic. The change in weather could be one of the reasons for it. People tend to get wet during rainy periods and they don’t look after themselves, which can result in flu-like symptoms,” Dr May said.
“We would normally advise those who have flu to have lots of rest and take Paracetamol.”
However, if their condition worsened leading to high fever and short breath, Dr May advised people to visit the hospital for re-examination.
“When it gets to this stage, they might have a superimposed bacterial infection causing pneumonia.”
Dr May described the number of flu cases presenting at Rarotonga hospital as “normal”, adding numbers had been higher couple of weeks ago when the visitors from the outer islands were here for Te Maeva Nui celebrations.
“People are advised to keep warm and if they have flu like symptoms, they are encouraged to wash their hands at all time and cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.”
A CINews staff member who had been suffering from the illness for two weeks, went to the hospital last Wednesday morning, but was asked to return later in the morning as the outpatients waiting room was full of people waiting to see a doctor. He was later prescrbed antibiotics to curb what had become a debilitating illness
The newspaper has also had reports of the flu-like illness resulting in some island residents suffering from pneumonia.