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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health is encouraging persons who experience flu symptoms to seek medical attention, and depending on its severity, they should stay at home until they are well.
  • The Director pointed out that every year, persons die due to flu related illnesses, and that the elderly, pregnant women, persons with heart conditions and chronic diseases, are in the high risk group, “because their immune system is compromised.”
  • Participants were introduced to a net to control and reduce the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population. It was developed by United States (US) based pest control company, Univar.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging persons who experience flu symptoms to seek medical attention, and depending on its severity, they should stay at home until they are well.

Director of Health Promotion and Protection at the Ministry, Dr. Sonia Copeland, says the country has been seeing increased numbers of persons with influenza related illnesses, and that if persons take action, such as the frequent washing of hands, the virus can be managed.

“We are emphasizing that you can control it. We are going to lose man hours, but we are saying, stay at home until you are better. Once you go to church, school and work, it is a given that you are going to spread it,” Dr. Copeland said.

She was addressing a Zika Virus seminar, organized by Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited, in Cross Roads, St. Andrew, yesterday (March 10).

The Director pointed out that every year, persons die due to flu related illnesses, and that the elderly, pregnant women, persons with heart conditions and chronic diseases, are in the high risk group, “because their immune system is compromised.”

She added that children are also at high risk, due to their systems not being fully developed.

The Ministry has stressed the need for persons to take the following precautions: clean hands frequently with soap and water; cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands; and avoid contact with persons with flu-like symptoms.

Influenza is a viral respiratory illness with symptoms, including fever, sore throat, coughing, stuffy nose, headache and body aches and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be experienced.  The virus is mainly spread from person to person through droplets produced while coughing or sneezing or by persons touching surfaces contaminated with droplets.

Head of Manpower Maintenance Services, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said the seminar was geared at “uniting our efforts to combat those infections which are affecting the people.”

Persons who wish to obtain more information may call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre. Persons may also visit the Ministry’s website at: moh.gov.jm.

The seminar was sponsored by Agro Grace Limited, and saw presentations on the H1N1 virus, and other mosquito borne diseases from several Government agencies, the private sector and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Participants were introduced to a net to control and reduce the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population. It was developed by United States (US) based pest control company, Univar.