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Dec 14, 2017

Warning Over Rise in Respiratory Infections

Marvin Manzanero

The Ministry of Health says that its epidemiology unit is carrying out an investigation into a reported increase of severe acute respiratory infections cases at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  The Ministry of Health says that children make up over seventy percent of the cases. In a release issued on Wednesday, it noted, “one of the most effective ways to prevent the disease or a severe outcome from the illness is vaccination. The elderly population and persons with certain medical conditions that can contribute to the severity of the flu are advised to get a flu vaccine.”  Today, we spoke with Doctor Marvin Manzanero, who told us that while it is “flu season” the Ministry is looking into what is contributing to a high number of reported cases at the K.H.M.H.

 

On the Phone: Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We are in the flu season, so that is expected that you are going to have a spike across the country. So, what we normally do is that we ascertain and plug in all the data that we normally have and be able to compare it with other years. That is what the epidemiology unit is doing today and compare it with the data from Karl Heusner because the data is usually sent to us on manual basis not electronic. So, as I said, when we compare it with other years, the other places in the country have not had spike. We are also trying to find out if the patients from KHMH are being referred from somewhere else because that can be a reason why we are seeing an increase in number and not seeing it elsewhere. But it is expected that there are gonna be spikes usually in November-December in terms of the acute respiratory illnesses.  Hand washing, the usual cough etiquette is what is usually stressed around these times. You should avoid going to areas where you are work and you have a lot of people to be in contact with and if the flu symptoms are getting progressively worse or after 3-4 days you are not getting any better if you are self-medicating you should seek medical advice. We also know that there is tendency for people to use antibiotics but as in most cases of the flu it is a viral infection so antibiotics will not help and drink a lot of fluids, bed rest – those are the cardinal messages we need to get across to people.   We will be updating everybody once we are able to gather more information to see if this is any outbreak outside of the norm and try to determine what is the cause of this agent. We did go back and review our data at central medical lab and it is an rfv virus that is usually in the common cause of flu every year; that is the strain we are able to ascertain is the one that seems to be circulating now. So, it isn’t anything out of the norm.”

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