JIS News

Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, is appealing to organisers of summer activities to ensure that children, who display flu-like symptoms, are sent home.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on July 10, Dr. Bullock DuCasse said that due to the highly contagious nature of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, children, who display flu-like symptoms, should be closely monitored, to prevent a possible spread of the virus.
“If children come to the events and they are experiencing fever or any signs or symptoms of influenza, their parents or guardians should be contacted and arrangements made for them to be sent home,” she stated. While awaiting the arrival of the parent or the caregiver, she noted, these children should be placed in an area by themselves, with adequate supervision, to minimise transmission.
Adults with flu-like symptoms are also advised to stay home. “This virus presents as any other influenza and so if persons are having fever, coughs, body aches, or in some cases diarrhoea or vomiting, then we are advising that these people stay at home,” Dr. Bullock DuCasse said.
Persons are advised to stay home for at least seven days. If within this period, they develop complications such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or they are feeling extremely tired, they must seek immediate medical attention.
Persons with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and asthma, pregnant women and children under five-years old, are deemed high risk and are vulnerable to developing complications from the virus. As such, they must seek immediate medical attention as soon as they start developing complications.
In the meantime, Dr. Bullock DuCasse has reiterated the importance of good hygiene practices, including frequent hand-washing, with soap and water, to minimise the spread of Influenza A. Those, who do not have ready access to a hand washing facility, may use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
“It is a general measure. It doesn’t matter where you are working, whether in an office, on the road or moving around, the fact is washing the hands removes bacteria, it removes viruses,” she pointed out.
Also, persons are urged to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, preferably with a tissue, which should be discarded appropriately.

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