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Alan Magnus reveals his wife died from Swine Flu, Health Ministry says no case here

Published:Friday | March 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Karlene 'Kerry' Magnus died last Friday

Danae Hyman, Online Reporter 

The Ministry of Health says there have been no reports in Jamaica of the Influenza A H1N1 virus, commonly called Swine Flu.

Broadcaster Alan Magnus this morning reported that his wife, Karlene 'Kerry' Magnus died last Friday from complications associated with the virus.

But Nicole Dawkins-Wright, the acting director of  emergency, disaster management and special services in the Health Ministry says there have been no reports of Swine Flu here.

Magnus had questioned why the Health Ministry has not reported that there is Swine Flu in Jamaica.

"H1N1 is in Jamaica," Magnus said.

"I have heard of several people dying from it. (For) Kerry’s death, the paper which we got from the hospital, stated that that’s what she died from,” Magnus said on RJR94FM.

The last Swine Flu warning in Jamaica was in 2016 when the Ministry of Health appealed to persons who fall within the high-risk groups to seek treatment early if they experience symptoms of Influenza infection.

The warning came after Jamaica recorded its fourth Influenza A (H1N1)-associated death.

About Swine Flu

The Influenza A (H1N1) virus is a contagious respiratory illness.

It caused a pandemic in 2009.

Although often referred to as ‘swine flu’, this name is misleading as it is not spread by contact with pigs or pig products.

H1NI continues to circulate around the world.

Typically, the flu season in the region occurs between September and March when there is usually an increase in the number of persons coming down with the virus.

Who is at risk?

Yearly influenza epidemics can seriously affect all populations, but the highest risk of complications occur among children younger than age five years and especially younger than two years; adults aged 65 years or older; pregnant women; persons of any age with certain medical conditions, such as chronic heart, lung, kidney, liver, blood or metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), any non-communicable disease, respiratory illnesses (asthma, bronchitis, etc); and persons with weakened immune systems.

Deaths are usually among persons in these high-risk groups.

Seasonal influenza, including H1N1, is highly contagious and spreads quite easily, sweeping through close-knit, highly populated areas like schools, workplaces, hospitals, children's homes, homes for the elderly, communities, etc.

How is Swine Flu spread?

It spreads from one infected person to others via:

- Coughing. When an infected person coughs, infected droplets get into the air and another person can breathe them in and be exposed.

- Sneezing

- Talking closely to persons

- Kissing

- Handshake

- Other forms of intimacy

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