Ministry of Health reports increase in influenza-like cases

The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health today reported an increase in the amount of influenza-like cases on island. The unit headed by Dr Shawn Charles shared the information with senior members of the ministry who have since embarked on a series public health measures to address the situation.

“We all accept that traditionally we are in the regular flu season, and we expect to have some cases, but we have noticed what can best be described as a dramatic spike and that certainly warrants immediate personal action to prevent transmission,” Charles explained.

He made reference to the St Andrew’s Health District, where there has been a marked increase of approximately 115% in reported cases compared to the previous week, which are way above normal readings from the same district around this time of year.

The medical doctor told the GIS that in order to curb the spread individuals must practice proper and regular hand washing to avoid becoming infected and prevent transmission.

“Coughing and sneezing are of particular concern to us as well. So persons must remember to cover their coughs and sneezes as much as possible, and also use an alcohol-based hand-sanitiser if clean running water is not available,” explained Dr Charles.

Flu prevention

Meanwhile, local health authorities are encouraging citizens and visitors alike, to exercise caution, taking into account all possible safety measures while driving or at the various beaches, rivers and lakes; and practice proper and regular hand hygiene while they participate in festive events this Easter weekend.

For additional information regarding seasonal flu prevention and control, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html

GIS

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