Ministry: Flu Levels In Bermuda “Not Unusual”

January 20, 2015

In the USA, this influenza season has been particularly severe and rates of infection have reached alert levels, however the Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment advised that, to date, levels of influenza reported in Bermuda to the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in December and early January “have not been unusual when compared to the same period in previous years.

A spokesperson said, “The Department of Health has noted a minimal numbers of clients with flu-like complaints over the past six weeks, but this may change as the season unfolds.

“Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection which spreads from person to person via infected droplets from coughs and sneeze. For most people it is not generally a serious condition but is often very unpleasant and temporarily debilitating. For some, however, flu can be quite dangerous, even life-threatening, because it may increase the risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.

“Symptoms of flu develop two to four days after exposure and may remain mild. However, serious attacks may cause sudden onset of sore throat, and runny nose with high fever, headache, backache, muscle pains fatigue and general malaise.

“Symptomatic care for influenza involves rest, fever control with acetaminophen-containing medication or ibuprophen, rehydration with fluids and comfort measures. [NOTE: Aspirin should not be given to children and teenagers with flu-like symptoms].

For severe or persistent symptoms see a healthcare professional for examination and management. For medically vulnerable individuals [ie. the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease etc], seek early attention from a healthcare professional. Treatment may include an anti-viral medication like Tamiflu for use in the first 48 hours of the illness.

“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind us that “… all hospitalized patients and all outpatients at high risk for serious complications should be treated as soon as possible with one of three available influenza antiviral medications if influenza is suspected, regardless of a patient’s vaccination status and without waiting for confirmatory testing. Healthcare providers should advise patients at high risk to call promptly if they get symptoms of influenza.”

“To avoid contracting or spreading the flu, follow the following protection measures: wash your hands well and often, keep your hands away from your face, cover your cough, avoid crowds, and stay away from school or work if unwell. It is important to protect vulnerable family or household members if you are unwell.

“The Department of Health recommends that you have the flu vaccine early in flu season while supplies are plentiful and in advance of the peak occurrences of flu. Approximately 4,800 doses of influenza vaccine were distributed by the Department of Health this flu season, most of its ordered supply. Limited stock remains for children requiring their second immunization.

“Even when it is not perfectly matched to the circulating strains of influenza, the flu vaccine offers some protection which lessens symptoms and reduces chances of hospitalization, which is especially important for more medically fragile individuals.”

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  1. smarta says:

    its all about putting fear in the people to make them want to take these vaccinations… wonder whos smart enough to catch on – the end