ISLAMABAD, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of seasonal influenza cases in Pakistan's eastern city of Multan has risen to 17 on Monday, with the death of another female patient who tested positive of influenza virus, an official said.
Doctor Atta-ur-Rehman, the spokesperson of the Punjab Health Department in Multan, told Xinhua that the outbreak of seasonal influenza has claimed 17 lives so far over the last 23 days in the city.
Up till now, 104 suspected patients have been tested for influenza, said the spokesperson, adding that at least 47 cases have been confirmed for the disease.
According to local reports, at least four doctors were among the increasing number of the cases, creating fear among the administration of hospitals as the disease is rapidly spreading across the metropolis.
Medical practitioners have advised the residents to take precautionary measures and also urged them to ensure their proper checkup for timely identification of the disease.
Earlier last week, a four-member team from the World Health Organisation and National Institute of Health arrived in Multan to monitor seasonal influenza cases at the city's Nishtar Hospital, a government health facility.
Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the spread of influenza and issued directives that all possible measures for the prevention of influenza should be taken. He also advised the relevant authorities to organize awareness campaign regarding the illness.
Seasonal influenza, commonly known as flu, usually spreads through contact with the bacteria discharged by an infected person's coughing and sneezing. According to health experts, children, elders and pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting the disease.