Health agencies note that the region in the Americas is currently experiencing increasing circulation of influenza together with COVID-19.
The Public Health Department is encouraging vulnerable groups to get vaccinated against influenza as well as for everyone to protect themselves and others from infections.
For persons wishing to get the flu vaccine this year, they may do so at district health centres from 2pm-4pm December 27-29 and on December 23 at Cost U Less 1pm-5:30pm and December 29 at Fosters (Republix) 5pm-9pm. In the New Year, the flu shot will be available at all district health centres Monday to Friday from 2pm to 4pm.
The Covid-19 vaccines are currently not available on islands. The public will be informed when the vaccines become available.
The Public Health Department will also continue to monitor the increased number of dengue cases locally and along with its partner, the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, continue to amplify surveillance for early detection, and appropriate response to the increase in numbers of dengue cases.
Residents are encouraged to take personal responsibility in helping to mitigate the impact in the community by preventing and protecting against further spread of the mosquito-borne disease.
“It is important that we ensure our surroundings are clean and free of mosquito breeding sites. Everyone should take it upon themselves to empty, dispose of, or cover any receptacles or containers capable of storing even small amounts of water. This includes used tyres, water storage drums, flowerpots, and tanks, as these are ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes. Therefore, these key actions will help prevent mosquitoes breeding, thereby keeping yourself, your families and your community safe,” noted Therese Prehay, Health Promotion Officer.
In the coming weeks, the Public Health Department will be working with communities to mobilise persons in helping to prevent mosquito breeding sites in and around homes.
For further information, visit www.hsa.ky/public-health or contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621/ 244-2889.
Protecting against the flu
If you are high risk: persons including infants and young children, individuals, 65 years and older, pregnant people and people with certain underlying chronic conditions. Vaccination is the best defense in the prevention of influenza and COVID-19.
However, people should also practice everyday preventive measures such as cough, hygiene, or etiquette that as covering your coughs and sneezes, staying away from individuals who are ill, and frequent hand washing or using alcohol gels. People who also may also choose to wear a well-fitting mask as an added precaution.
Practice respiratory hygiene (cover mouth/nose when coughing/sneezing, use masks when appropriate, use tissues and dispose of them properly, wash/sanitise hands before/after touching mouth/nose)
General advice on respiratory illness
Respiratory infections affect everyone in different ways. Your symptoms may be minor, while another person may need immediate medical treatment. The common signs of a respiratory infection include:
- Chest or nasal congestion
- Wet or dry cough
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Low-grade fever
- Sore throat
General advice for COVID-19:
Remain at home if symptomatic (febrile -having or showing symptoms of fever), coughing, running nose, muscle aches, chills).
Return to work after being symptom free for a minimum of 24 hours (if febrile, 24 hours from when the fever breaks).