Friday 21 February, 2020

139 more suspected flu cases, Health Ministry reports

There were more than 3000 suspected cases of the influenza virus in 2019.

The figure represents an increase of 139 cases from the last flu update from the Health Ministry.

The Ministry, which has been providing regular updates as part of an ongoing campaign and vaccination drive noted that the number of suspected influenza cases for the year has risen to 3573.

The number of confirmed deaths has increased by just one, bringing the count to 38.

The Ministry has administered 52,221 doses for this flu season, which began October 2019 and ends May 2020.

Citizens are reminded that the influenza virus is serious and is generally more severe than the common cold. The flu vaccine can be accessed at all health centres, free of charge. 

Further, citizens are advised to contact their nearest health centre to confirm the dates and times that vaccines are distributed.

The Ministry advised that children aged 6 months to 5 years; pregnant women; adults over 65; people with chronic medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus); and people with chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma are particularly vulnerable and should get vaccinated.

Persons in the health care workforce and essential services are also encouraged to get the flu vaccine.

Citizens should take the following personal health precautions to protect themselves and their families from the Influenza virus and other diseases:

1. Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub

2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way;

3. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs;

4. Where possible, avoid close contact with sick people;

5. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them;

6. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. After using a tissue, throw it in the bin and wash hands thoroughly.

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