Swine flu still a problem
DIRECTOR of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse is reminding persons to continue to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from influenza viruses.
“We are currently in the flu season and so we expect to see an increase in the number of cases of seasonal influenza and Influenza A (H1N1). Persons are urged to continue to follow the recommended hygiene measures to reduce their likelihood of becoming ill from viruses and protect others from possible infection,” said Dr Bullock DuCasse.
Precautions include washing hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand sanitiser. However, she cautioned however that the use of the hand sanitizer should not replace but instead complement hand washing.
“Try not to use the hand sanitiser more than three times. At that point it is time to wash your hands with soap and water. The hand sanitiser should only be used when you do not have the facility to wash your hands,” she explained.
She said persons should also remember to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing preferably with a tissue, which should be discarded appropriately.
“I urge parents to encourage their children to observe these measures. Adults may also remind each other of the importance of these practices to safeguard their health and the health of others,” she said.
She added that persons in the high risk group should seek medical attention immediately if they develop flu-like symptoms. These include persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma, pregnant women, and children under five years old.
Jamaica has 196 laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1). The number of reported deaths from the virus remains at seven. For more information, persons may call the Ministry’s toll free line at 1-888-ONE-LOVE (1-888-663-5683) or contact their parish health department.