The current influenza outbreak in Honiara has seen an influx in patients being referred to the National Referral Hospital (NRH).

The Minister for Health Dr Culwick Togamana says the National Public Health Surveillance Unit have picked up an increase in the number of cases of Influenza or flu-like illnesses mainly in Honiara and Malaita.

He says that in terms of admissions at NRH Emergency Department (ED) in the past 24 hours, 72 percent of total ED admissions are respiratory patients - he says of this 68 are adults and 26 are children.

The Health Minister says doctors including paediatricians are working hard to provide treatment and care for 5 paediatric patients, who are also being admitted.

He confirmed that lab technicians at the NRH have since conducted laboratory tests from swab samples collected from patients and discovered multiple respiratory viruses with Rhinovirus and influenza H3 predominating, as the main drivers of the outbreak.

These are viruses that cause common cold or flulike illnesses that we are experiencing today.

COVID-19 tests performed on the same samples returned negative.