Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Flu deaths up to 37

Four more people have died from the influenza virus.

The number of confirmed deaths for this flu season now stands at 37.

The Health Ministry in its weekly update indicated that as of December 27, the figures on the flu virus are:

Cumulative number of vaccines administered to the public for this flu season - 48,411

Suspected influenza cases for the year – 3434

Confirmed influenza deaths for this flu season – 37.

This represents an increase of 1616 vaccines administered and 114 more suspected cases.

The Ministry warned that the Influenza virus is serious and generally more severe than the common cold.

The flu vaccine is available to citizens at all health centres, at no cost. 

The Ministry reminded citizens that children aged 6 months to 5 years; pregnant women; those over 65; those with chronic medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus; and those with chronic respiratory illnesses like Asthma are particularly vulnerable to the virus and are urged to get the flu vaccine.

Those employed in the healthcare sector and essential services are also encouraged to get the flu vaccine.

Members of the public are advised to contact their nearest health centre to confirm the dates and times that vaccines are distributed.

The Ministry further advised that persons take the following necessary 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.

The current flu season ends May 2020.

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