Influenza, typically the culprit behind most winter colds, has persisted into the summer this year in the UAE, a season usually free of flu. Doctors attribute this to "changes in the weather pattern" and suggest that international travel and tourist influx might also play a role in spreading flu strains.

Dr. Hend Makky, a General Practitioner at Aman Lil Afia Clinic in Dubai, noted that many doctors in the UAE are reporting an increase in influenza cases since the start of summer, raising concerns about a potential summer flu season. Traditionally, influenza peaks in the UAE from October to February.

The exact reasons for the flu surge this summer are still under investigation. Dr. Makky explained that summer travel could expose people to different flu strains from around the world, potentially introducing new strains into the UAE population and leading to a surge in cases. It's also possible that the predominant flu strain this year is particularly contagious or causes more severe illness, contributing to a rise in cases regardless of the season.

Dr. Mais M Mauwfak, a specialist in internal medicine at Thumbay University Hospital, also reported a notable increase in flu cases, which may be primarily linked to the fluctuating weather conditions during the summer months in the UAE. The climate's extreme heat and high humidity, combined with sudden temperature shifts due to air conditioning, can exacerbate respiratory conditions like rhinitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis. The dry, dusty environment often leads to irritated airways, making individuals more susceptible to viral infections like the flu.

Medics emphasize that not all respiratory symptoms are due to viral infections; many are related to allergies. Therefore, careful diagnosis is crucial to ensure appropriate treatment for each condition.

Pediatric healthcare professionals stress the importance of taking the flu jab to reduce the spread of influenza. Dr. Hassan Hababa, a Specialist in Pediatrics at Burjeel Day Surgery Center in Al Shahama, noted that seasonal variations, changes in weather patterns, and increased indoor crowding are likely contributing factors to the rise in patient visits. It's essential for individuals, especially those in high-risk groups, to prioritize influenza vaccination.

Children visiting the Outpatient Department are complaining of cough, runny nose, fever, and strep throat. Dr. Mamata Bothra, a Specialist Pediatrician and Neonatalogist at International Modern Hospital in Dubai, noted that influenza cases are usually not very common during summers but are seeing more cases this year. Doctors also highlighted the importance of parents supervising their kids' water intake and monitoring urine color to ensure hydration.