Monday 9 December, 2019

Ministry confirms: 16 flu deaths

The number of confirmed influenza deaths for the current flu season has risen to 16.

The Health Ministry confirmed the number in its weekly flu update and advised that in its figures as of last Friday, over 16,000 vaccines have been administered in health centres across the country.

The Ministry is currently engaged in a robust, nation-wide Influenza Vaccination Drive for the 2020 Flu Season (October 2019 to May 2020). The flu vaccine is available to all citizens at no cost. The campaign has been implemented to protect the population against the Influenza (Flu) Virus.

The Ministry reports the number of suspected influenza cases for this flu season is now 2738.

Citizens are advised that the Influenza virus is serious and is generally more severe than the common cold. Persons in the following groups are particularly vulnerable to the virus and are urged to get the flu vaccine: children aged 6 months to 5 years; pregnant women; adults over 65; people with chronic medical conditions (such as Diabetes Mellitus); and people with chronic respiratory illnesses (such as Asthma).

Those in the health care workforce 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 has advised citizens take the following necessary personal health precautions to protect themselves and their families from the Influenza virus and other diseases:

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

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

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

·         Where possible, avoid close contact with sick people;

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

·         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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