Monday 22 July, 2019

Swine flu cases confirmed in 'last couple months'

Over the last few months, there have been “a couple of cases” of patients contracting the H1N1 virus or swine flu.

The admission comes from South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Act­ing Med­ical Di­rec­tor Dr Robin Sinanan who says steps are being taken to treat with these patients, including more robust immunisation programmes.

Speaking with reporters at the San Fernando General Hospital on Tuesday following a visit by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for births of New Year’s babies, Sinanan said he could not provide exact figures but assured that the numbers were not alarming.

“H1N1 would be endemic to the country at this stage and it is globalised… Folks travel all the time and we are always screening people when they return. The Ministry has a programme where they screen people who are returning from all countries, so yes, it is on the cards.”

Meanwhile Deyalsingh urged citizens to ensure that they are vaccinated. The Health Ministry has brought in 75,000 doses of the influenza vaccine which can be requested at health centres free of charge.

“It is up to the public to safeguard their health by getting the flu vaccination shot.

But, people, unless there is an emergency, they don’t see the need for vaccinations.”

The flu which has fatalities, is different to the flu that causes a stuffy nose, he said.

Noting that an estimated 50,000 people in the United States are expected to die during this year’s flu season, Deyalsingh boasted of the “unrecognised” “phenomenal achievement” of just two flu deaths in the past three years.

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