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North American Influenza: No alarms to date say medical officials

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis


Monday, May 11, 2009 – Saint Lucia is still in the clear as regards the identification of any signs of the North American Influenza, health officials confirmed Monday.


Speaking at a weekly press briefing to update the local media and the general public on the island’s status, the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlin Frederick said even after the hosting of Saint Lucia Jazz, there is so far no cause for alarm.


“We have tested a number of persons with flu like symptoms so far, persons who fit the case definition. The case definition being someone who has travelled recently, who has come from countries which are being affected; and the number of countries are increasing daily. In all instances, so far all of those cases, have been negative,” Dr. Frederick said.


Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Office Joseph DuBois said a National Influenza Plan has been passed into legislation. He said it is the blueprint followed by all agencies collaborating to minimize the probability of the North American Flu entering the island.


We do have a plan, it was in draft form until recently approved by cabinet so this is a formal document that would guide a response and even in its draft stage it was what guided us. Well it’s a very comprehensive plan and it speaks to the various sectors,” explained Mr. DuBois. 


The National Influenza Plan is posted on the government website

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