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Seven confirmed cases as investigation at summer camp continues

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris


Monday, August 10, 2009 - Saint Lucia's confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza, is continuing to rise bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7. Last week the latest case involves a 48 year old, who has a history of recent travel, within the Caribbean Region.

In addition, the Ministry of Health is presently investigating an outbreak of ‘flu like illness’ within a group of travellers at a summer camp. All measures to limit the possible spread of illness are being taken, and ill persons are being treated with Tamiflu. The Ministry of Health is awaiting confirmation on the nature of this “flu like illness’ from CAREC. Persons who organize and manage summer camps are asked to be “on the look out” for any signs of ‘flu like illness’ among their campers. For more information on preventing and managing H1N1 Influenza outbreaks at summer camps, please contact the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, at (758) 452-3802.


Health practitioners should treat suspected cases of H1N1 Influenza, based on their patient’s clinical and epidemiological findings. Practitioners should not wait for the results of Influenza tests, to determine how the patient should be managed. (Clinical guidelines for the management of H1N1 Influenza in Saint Lucia can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and from the Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association’s website at )


All persons with ‘Influenza like symptoms’ should be advised by their practitioner, to remain at home for at least 1 week. Most persons with H1N1 Influenza have only a mild flu like illness and recover without the need for medications such as Tamiflu, but Tamiflu should be prescribed for anyone who falls within the “high risk” category.


Persons in the “high risk” category may get a more severe form of the disease when infected with H1N1 Influenza. This group includes pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and any disease which weakens the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Some studies suggest that obesity, and especially extreme obesity, may also be a risk factor for more severe disease. Young persons are also at higher risk.


Remember :


  1. Cover your cough. Cough into tissue and place used tissue in a covered bin. If you have no tissue or napkin, cover your mouth with your sleeve.
  2. Wash your hands frequently. Hand washing helps prevent persons from acquiring the disease and prevents spread of infection.
  3. Visit a health practitioner if you have flu like symptoms and have visited a country with confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza, or have had close contact with travellers from such areas.
  4. If you have relatives and friends who are visiting from countries with large numbers of H1N1 cases and they develop flu like symptoms- advise them to see a health practitioner
  5. Take extra hygiene precautions if you plan on travelling to country with many confirmed cases
  6. If you are ill with flu, do not go to work
  7. If you are ill with flu, do not go to school
  8. If you are ill with flu, do not go to mass crowd gatherings
  9. If you are ill with flu, remain at least 3 feet away from other persons

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