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Two may have died from geriatric hospital virus

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TWO ELDERLY patients of the Geriatric Hospital may have succumbed to the respiratory syncytialvirus (RSV).Minister of Health Donville Inniss refused to comment on the two suspected deaths, noting he would leave medical matters up to those qualified to do so.“I don’t know of any deaths relating to RSV complications, but if so, we regret the passing of anyone, regardless of the circumstances,” he said.Inniss said there had been 95 cases since the outbreak four weeks ago, with 13 persons still ill. Those affected have ranged in age from 77 to 102.The Health Minister told the WEEKEND NATION that the number of new cases had been steadily decreasing.“There is no need for concern or panic.The ministry has been vigilant and proactive,” he said. Additional physicians have been seconded to the Beckles Road facility, and a doctor is on hand on behalf of the Caribbean Epidemiological Centre (CAREC) to assist in dealing with the outbreak.Inniss said the suspension of public visits to the Geriatric Hospital was still in effect and it was hoped that it would soon be relaxed.Chief Medical Officer Joy St John said the ailment usually preyed on the very young or the very old.“Over the years, we have had seasonal outbreaks of this virus but typically very young children.On this occasion, it has affected very large numbers of older persons in the Geriatric Hospital,” she said.(MK)