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Health ministry confirms nature of viral illness


The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has identified the “acute viral illnes” that is circulating throughout the Chateaubelair district as Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic 09, also known as swine flu.{{more}}

A release from the Ministry said as of September 24, there have been 48 reported cases of this influenza- like illness.

All clients have been treated and discharged, the Ministry said.

According to a release from chief medical officer Dr Simone Keizer-Beache, the Ministry has received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that the circulating virus, isolated from six of the samples, tested to be Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic 09.

Online reference sources say the H1N1 Pandemic 09 virus is a swine origin Influenza A virus which was responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic.

The Ministry is advising that the respiratory virus is treated symptomatically. “Persons are, therefore, asked to seek medical care from their district medical officer if they present with sore throat, runny nose, elevated temperature or any associated symptoms. Persons are also asked to practice social distancing in the event that they become ill, that is, to refrain from attending school or work if ill,” the release said.

The Ministry says it is continuing its active surveillance throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Persons are, therefore, asked to continue increased hygienic practices by covering the mouth with a tissue or handkerchief if sneezing or coughing. Hand washing is imperative in reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.