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2 more cases of HINI confirmed in Saint Lucia

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Contact: Lucius Doxerie


Thursday, July 23, 2009 –  Local health officials have confirmed two new cases of the H1N1 virus or the North American Influenza on the island, bringing the total confirmed cases  to three.


The announcement was made by the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Josiah Rambally in a televised statement to the nation last evening.


Dr. Rambally says the cases involve two siblings, ages four and six, who had recently travelled to the United States. They were brought in by a parent who noted the development of flu like symptoms, a few days after they returned to the island.


“Tests were done on the parent and the children, but only the children tested positive for H1N1. The family was placed in voluntary quarantine, and follow up reports indicate that both children are doing extremely well. No flu like symptoms have been noted in other close contacts of the affected family. The Epidemiology and Community Nursing departments in the Ministry of Health are continuing their investigations into these cases.”


Dr. Rambally commended the children’s parents and practitioner involved, for their prompt action.


He has  reminded members of the public with flu-like symptoms and recent history of travel to an affected country to have a test done for the Influenza.


“This test is free and samples can be taken by a health practitioner at any health facility.  All such samples are then sent to the lab at Victoria Hospital for processing.  Persons with flu-like symptoms who have no recent history of travel, but who have had contact with recently travellers should also get tested.”


The Chief Medical Officer also urged members of the public to continue to follow normal hygiene practices such as the covering of coughs and frequent washing of hands. 


Dr. Rambally advised people who are ill with flu, not go to work or school and that parents, relatives and teachers remain especially vigilant when school reopens.


The Ministry of Health’s advice to the public continues to be simple but effective:

  1. Cover your cough
  2. Wash your hands frequently

  3. Visit a health practitioner if you have flu like symptoms and have recently visited a country with confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza, or have had close contact with travellers from such areas.

  4. Take extra hygiene precautions if you are visiting a country with many confirmed cases of H1N1

  5. If you are ill with flu, do not go to work

  6. If you are ill with flu, do not go to school.

  7. Parents, relatives and teachers should remain especially vigilant when school reopens. This is because many children may have been exposed to the virus during their vacation through travel or contact with travellers. Children with flu like symptoms should be taken for a medical assessment and should be kept home for at least 1 week.

  8. If you are ill with flu, get tested and stay home.

For more information, please contact the Ministry of Health at:

(758) 468-5309, (758) 468-5317, (758) 468-5318, (758) 468-5300

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