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Seventh H1N1 death recorded

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2009 | 1:13 PM

Jamaica has recorded its seventh death as a result of Influenza A (H1N1) infection.

However, the number of local cases remains at 191.

The Health Ministry says the patient who was confirmed with the virus was within the high risk group and developed complications.

As a result, the Ministry is reminding people to continue to take the necessary precautions to guard against the Influenza A virus.

Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, the Director of Emergency Disaster Management in the Health Ministry, says persons particularly in the high risk group need to ensure that they seek medical attention immediately as they begin to feel symptoms.

This group includes pregnant women, persons with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, heart disease or any condition that impairs the immune system and children under five years old.

Dr. Bullock DuCasse says given the current flu season, there will be an increase in the number of cases of H1N1 and seasonal influenza.

She said persons should therefore continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from infection.

The precautions include observing good hygiene practices.

Washing hands frequently with soap and water is one of the best defenses against influenza and other viruses.

Persons should ensure that they cover their nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing.

It is also recommended that persons use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if they are not in a position to wash their hands.