Health Ministry issues warning to persons in high-risk Swine Flu group
With the recent outbreak of the H1N1 virus in Jamaica, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye has issued a warning to persons classified as "high risk", urging them to observe proper hygienic practices to prevent H1N1 or Swine Flu infection.
Persons in the high risk group include children under five years old, pregnant women, the elderly, persons with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma and those with a compromised immune system such as persons infected with HIV.
De La Haye says persons in the high risk group are at a greater risk of being severely affected if they get the Swine flu.
However, De La Haye says everyone should observe regular hygiene practices for flu prevention including the frequent washing of hands with soap and water and the covering of the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
H1N1 is a type of Influenza or flu virus that presents with symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and body aches and fatigue.
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be experienced.
Since H1N1 was detected in Jamaica some three weeks ago, the island has recorded confirmed 10 cases and two deaths associated with the virus.
The ministry says the virus is a Category I illness which means that medical practitioners must report it to the health authority within 24 hours of suspecting a case of severe acute respiratory illness.