With increasing incidences of flu being reported in the Cayman Islands the Health Services Authority has expanded its flu clinic on the main Hospital campus with a dedicated unit to treat patients with flu moderate to severe symptoms and help mitigate the spread of the virus in other clinic settings.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Williams recommended that persons first make contact via the 24 hour Flu Hotline at 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as initial triage before coming into the Flu Clinic.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Williams says the high number of influenza like cases emerging in recent weeks has resulted in an increase of patients entering the emergency room and general practice clinic. “We saw approximately 300 cases of respiratory tract infections reported within the last two weeks in February so the need is still there.”
The dedicated Flu Clinic is located in the space previously occupied by the Outpatient Mental Health Unit, on the side of the hospital facing the Seventh Day Adventist Church, to the far left of A&E. Signage on the hospital campus will direct patients to the Clinic, which will be open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All persons at the flu clinic will be required to wear a facemask to prevent the spread of flu.
If you have flu symptoms and have traveled within the last 2 weeks please stay at home and contact your healthcare provider or the Flu Hotline. Callers will speak with a health professional about their symptoms, be screened for travel history, etc and will be advised on what they should do e.g. come to the Flu Clinic, stay home in isolation.
Dr. Williams says that most people with the flu have mild to moderate symptoms and will recover within about a week without medical treatment. Persons are reminded to rest, take over-the-counter medications and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions should call the hotline or their primary care doctor at the first sign of flu symptoms.
Flu symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Muscle or body aches
If you experience worsening symptoms such as:
- Sudden dizziness and confusion;
- Severe or persistent vomiting;
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; or,
- Difficulty breathing
call the Flu hotline or 911.
To help avoid the spread of germs and reduce the risk of contracting viruses, it is essential to practice the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer if a sink with soap and water is not available).
- Don’t touch your face unless you have washed your hands, as that is how the virus gets into your body.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your bent elbow.
- Stay 3 -6 feet away from sick persons with respiratory symptoms.
Patients visiting the flu clinic can use the Seventh Day Adventist Church parking lot, just opposite A&E.