Monday, August 31, 2009 - The NEMO Secretariat, in conjunction with the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, has launched a media campaign against H1N1 Influenza. This is timely, as it is anticipated that with the reopening of school, the potential for H1N1 Influenza outbreaks will increase.
For the first time in 44 years, students will be returning to school after summer vacation, amidst a global influenza pandemic.
H1N1 influenza affects primarily younger persons. Most persons who acquire the disease have only mild flu- like illness, and recover at home within one week.
However, some individuals, especially those with underlying medical conditions such as, asthma, sickle cell disease, diabetes and heart disease, may develop more severe illness requiring hospitalization. Some of these patients experience a sudden and very rapid deterioration in their clinical condition, usually on the 5th or 6th day, after they begin showing signs of flu-like illness.
The World Health Organization and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, warn of a second, possibly more severe wave of H1N1 Influenza disease in the upcoming months.
Persons are reminded that frequent hand- washing, is still one of the most effective ways of reducing your chances of getting influenza.
Parents are asked to remain alert for any sign of flu-like illness in their child. The child should be taken to a health facility if there is any sign, such as sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, headache, joint and body pains, belly pain, vomiting and or diarrhoea. Children with flu symptoms should be monitored at home for at least 1 week, after visiting a health professional. If a child worsens while on treatment, that child should be taken immediately back to a health facility for re-assessment.
The Ministry of Education has taken a number of steps to help prevent the spread of influenza in the school setting. These include monitoring students for signs of flu like illness, frequent hand washing and frequent cleaning of hard surfaces. Parents may be asked to send their child to school with hand washing soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers.
All of us need to remain vigilant in our efforts to decrease the spread and
impact of H1N1 Influenza.
For audio and video copies of flu sensitization material visit http://stlucia.gov.lc/flu/
For more information on H1N1 Influenza, please contact the: Ministry of Health at: (758) 468-5309, (758) 468-5317, (758) 468-5318, and (758) 468-5300
For information on bio-security measures for farms, please contact the Ministry of Agriculture at: (758) 450-2375, (758) 450-3213, (758) 454-3470 or visit the newly launched website http://www.maff.egov.lc/
For information on measures taken by schools to prevent the spread of H1N1 Influenza, please contact the Ministry of Education at: (758) 468-5260, (758) 468-5262, and (758) 451-6964
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