October 16, 2021

Jamaica: Health ministry prepares for more swine flu as victim succumbs

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Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 1.13.45 PMFrom Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health today announced that through its National Emergency Operations Centre measures have been put in place to prepare the health sector for any possible increase in the number of influenza cases.

Minister of Health Horace Dalley says he has instructed the team to activate the national influenza plan. “We have been reviewing our systems to ensure that we are able to manage any increase in cases that may come at our public health facilities. The team has been instructed to ensure that the necessary resources are put in place across all the Regional Health Authorities,” Dalley explained.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye said the ministry has been monitoring symptoms associated with influenza viruses through its surveillance system and has noted an increase in cases over the past six weeks.

As a result doctors have been advised to report cases of influenza on suspicion within 24 hours, the release said.

“We have confirmed ten cases since the start of the year and so far identified two strains of influenza viruses that are circulating among the population. Nine of the 10 cases are H1N1. That nine includes one death. We have been strengthening our systems and increasing our supplies of medication to deal with this increase,” Dr De La Haye said.

Additional supplies of Tami Flu used to treat H1N1 have been acquired with more supplies to come. The CMO noted however that Tamiflu is only used to treat symptoms in severely affected patients and does not prevent illness, the release added.

Other measures put in place include frontline staff being offered the flu vaccine, isolation areas in hospitals prepared, additional equipment, testing capacity being increased and increased public education, the ministry said.

Dr De La Haye is however urging citizens to take steps to protect themselves and others from infection by observing proper hygiene practices.

For more on this story go to: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Health-ministry-prepares-for-more-swine-flu-as-victim-succumbs

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