KUALA LUMPUR 10 MARCH 2020 : Last December, the world woke up to the COVID- 19 outbreak and in the blink of an eye, global numbers of confirmed cases of the pandemic has surpassed 100,000. This outbreak has definitely broken the complacency of the public on viral illness. Another such acute contagious disease that needs serious attention is influenza. Our nation was affected by this disease in early January this year which saw the closing of several schools across Klang Valley and Penang.
This seasonal outbreak should not only concern the general public, but also the corporate employers and HR managers because a recent Health Metrics study across four Malaysian industries (education, F&B, manufacturing and production, and financial services) has revealed this to be the most frequently recurring illness in the country, making up 47% of overall employee visits to clinics.
"One sick employee can suddenly spike to become a handful or more and that damages theproductivity of the employees and company, not to mention their families”, says Dr. Alvin Lum, the CEO of Magnitude Healthcare.
Speaking to us during an exclusive interview, Dr. Alvin highlighted that when an employee gets sick, he or she bears the risk of infecting family members when they stay at home or other employees when they come to office.
“It is critical that we focus attention on the importance of a sustained yearly influenza vaccination effort to protect as many people as possible.” he added
Comparing the illness with the common cold, Dr. Alvin explained that Influenza is categorised as A and B, and is contracted through droplets in the air. The common symptoms include sudden onset of of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and a runny nose.
After vaccination, it takes a minimum two weeks for the antibodies to develop in the body by the flu vaccines.
“Annual flu vaccination is the most effective healthcare measure to protect against a flu infection and its complications. It will definitely alleviate the human and financial cos