Ministry Advises Of Increased Influenza Incidence

March 27, 2016

The Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment [ESU] would like to inform the public of an increased incidence of influenza on the Island, and to encourage persons who develop symptoms to contact their doctor for advice.

A spokesperson said, “Reports received from doctors’ offices, laboratories and the King Edward VII Memorial hospital, confirm an increase in the number of individuals being seen with respiratory symptoms and cases of confirmed influenza on the island.

“The numbers are above what is normally expected: between February 21 and 19 March 2016, 322 cases of fever and respiratory symptoms and influenza were reported compared to the 5-year average of 248 for the same time period.

“This situation reminds us that influenza and influenza-like illnesses remain a threat to the community. The ESU is closely monitoring the occurrence of these illnesses in the community and is grateful for the cooperation of all physicians, laboratories and the infection prevention team at the hospital for their heightened surveillance and timely reporting of these illnesses to the Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit.

“If you, a family member or other close contact, has been in contact with a person that has been ill with flu-like symptoms and you develop a high fever, cough, muscle aches or become unwell, you are encouraged to telephone your doctor for advice. It is important to seek early medical advice and/or attention if symptoms are severe.

“If you visit a healthcare provider for care, please inform the front desk staff immediately about your respiratory symptoms. You may ask or be asked to put on a mask when you arrive to minimize the risk to others in the waiting room area.

“To reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and influenza, as always, we encourage you and your family to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or coughing into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • It is especially important to avoid school, the workplace or public areas when experiencing respiratory symptoms.
  • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone is ill.

“The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. All individuals are encouraged to be routinely vaccinated against influenza, and this advice is particularly important for:

  • young children,
  • senior citizens,
  • pregnant women, and
  • people with chronic heart, lung, or kidney disease or suppression of their immune system.

“Influenza vaccines are available at your physician’s office or at the Department of Health, 67 Victoria Street, Hamilton, Monday to Friday from 8:30am-11:30am. Telephone 278-6460 for more information.

“For more information, websites: or”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Really? says:

    Flue vaccines are NOT the only way to prevent the flu, let alone will prevent the flu at all! Please get informed and educated our community on the reality of some vaccines. Alike the unecessarily and in fact dangerous use of fluoride, our government continues to also push vaccine sales! Please make informed decisions for you and your children as opposed to embark blindly on this continuous money making brain wash.

  2. Wtf says:

    Don’t I know it!!!
    Suffering as we speak

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      Hope you get over it real soon, horrible experience when you get it real bad.

  3. No, no, no.... says:

    Instead of pushing vaccine sales, let’s address hygiene, nutrition meaning real food not food like products that some continuously consume and blindly give to their children. Some schools need to emphasize hand washing especially before lunch time. Washing hands is critical. Also, our immune system is critically depressed by malnutrition (although most overeat) as so much of our food is depleted of real nutrition value or is even real due to being highly processed and modified. An elevated consume of sugar is also a huge culprit as refined sugars depress our bodies. Lack of vitamin D=sunlight ! Get outside and spend less time in front of electronics. What would happen to a wild animal if we all of a sudden remove it From its natural habitat and expose him to artificial food, artificial light and air inside a cubicle? Stress is another culprit. Stress management is a must. Just to leave a few of the many reasons why humans are the sickest species on earth. We need to go back to basics as much as possible and live a clean and active life. Choose health care not sick care!