The Minister of Health and Medical services Dr Culwick Togamana has declared that there is now an outbreak of Viral Respiratory Illnesses (VRI) in Honiara and Malaita.

Viral respiratory illnesses are one of the most common illnesses worldwide, which affect people of all ages with different severities.

He says despite the outbreak being reported only in Honiara and Malaita Provinces, there is high chance or risk that it will spread to all other Provinces due to the ongoing inter-island travels.

“Therefore, it is in the interest of each and every one of us across the country to be on a heightened state of alertness, of this Viral Respiratory Illness (VRI) that is circulating in our communities.

“The current health advisory for this outbreak is to once again practice and practice constantly the following public health measures, as we did for COVID-19,” the Health Minister stressed.

He also advised that parents keep their children at home and away from school if they are experiencing flu, cough, and fever.

“Get them tested for Malaria to rule out Malaria and care for them at home. Symptoms should subside after 3 to 4 days. If symptoms persist beyond 5 days get them to the nearest clinic.

“For those with asthma or heart diseases your health and life are at great risk from this flu outbreak therefore urgently seek medical attention at your nearest clinic if you develop flu symptoms,” Dr Togamana said.