The Public Health Department is monitoring the increased incidence of flu activity among residents.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses which circulate in all parts of the world and is easily spread from person to person. It is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose. The cough can be severe and can last 2 or more weeks. Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention.
“Usually there are 95-115 cases of influenza seen weekly at the Health Services Authority facilities”, said Dr. Samuel Williams – Rodriguez, Director of Primary Healthcare and Acting Medical Officer of Health. “However, during the month of November we noted a marked increase in flu activity averaging 137 cases per week (16% above normal average); and as of week ending December 23, 2017 the average increased to 172 cases per week (33% above normal average) As we are in the midst of the flu season we expect to see a further increase in activity as the season peaks”.
To this end, Public Health Officials are again encouraging all persons to get vaccinated against the flu virus.
“We recommend that people get vaccinated as soon as possible and definitely before the peak of the flu season which ranges between December and January”. Adding, Dr. Williams Rodriguez also highlighted that the Influenza vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the disease. He also noted that Antiviral drugs are also available for treatment.
To help decrease the spread of influenza the Public Health Department has issued these guidelines:
- Practicing good respiratory hygiene (cover your cough)
- Social distancing (e.g., staying home from work and school when ill, staying away from people who are sick)and proper hand washing techniques.
- The General Practice Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital, and all District Health Centres, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday .
- Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac: Residents of Cayman Brac should contact the clinic to make arrangements (948-2243).
- The Little Cayman Clinic: Residents of Little Cayman should contact the clinic to make arrangements (948-0072).
Side Bar: Flu Vaccines still available
Free Flu Shots are still available as follows:
For more information, call the Public Health Department on 244-2621, or Faith Hospital on 948-2243.