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Health ministry warns of acute respiratory illness


Health ministry warns of acute respiratory illness

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THE MINISTRY OF Health has noted an increase in acute respiratory illness (ARI) circulating in Barbados.     

Respiratory samples collected from patients and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing have been positive for the Influenza A virus.

Viral respiratory diseases are characterised by fever with one or more cold symptoms such as chills, headache, body ache, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Persons who are ill should limit contact with others as much as possible to prevent others from getting ill. Individuals with fever should avoid leaving their homes to go to work or to other public places until the fever has subsided. Individuals should stay at home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine).

The elderly, women who are pregnant and those with chronic conditions may be at greater risk of complications, and should consult their health care provider for medical advice and information on the Influenza vaccine.  Chronic conditions include asthma and other lung conditions, heart disease, diabetes and impairment of the immune system.  Persons who develop difficulty breathing, mental confusion or worsening symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Good personal hygiene is essential to preventing influenza viruses from spreading. The public is advised to:

Frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones that may be contaminated should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

The Ministry of Health will continue its surveillance for influenza and will keep the public updated on the situation.  (BGIS)