by Linda Straker
Health Minister Nickolas Steele says that Grenada has never had a suspected case nor confirmed cases of Swine Flu (H1N1).
Grenada has high human traffic with Trinidad, and the news there is that the island has recorded 5 cases — 2 doctors who treated a swine flu patient have contracted the virus, and are at home in stable condition following the death of the patient.
Steele said that since the start of the pandemic in 2009, Grenada continues to be free of swine flu and “we want people to continue practicing healthy measures that will keep the island free of this virus.” Symptoms of swine flu are similar to most influenza infections: Fever (100° F or greater), cough, nasal secretions, fatigue, and headache. Some patients may also get a sore throat, rash, body aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Recently, the Ministry of Health and Maurice Bishop International Airport announced the installation of an advanced infrared fever-sensing system. Once the system becomes fully functional, it will help healthcare providers and port health surveillance officers, to better detect persons entering the country with very high temperatures that are often associated with new and emerging diseases, especially when the country is on alert in relation to an outbreak.
The modern bit of equipment which is capable of facial tracking and identifying individuals with very high body temperature, can be monitored from one station or remotely via Internet.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 14,286 people died worldwide during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, of which there were 237 deaths in Central America and the Caribbean. Barbados confirmed 4 cases; Cuba, 1; Dominican Republic, 93; and Jamaica, 33. One death was confirmed in Trinidad, with several others being treated for the virus.