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Apr 29, 2009

…And in the northern district schools on alert

Story PictureCorozal is the district nearest to the Mexican bordering state of Quintana Roo where suspected cases of the swine flu have been detected. And since the borders remain open and the traffic at the Commercial Free Zone is on track, residents are on high alert to avert the disease on this side of the border. Two schools in the district are exercising precautionary measures after some of their students showed flu-like symptoms. Marion Ali returned to Corozal today as part of News Five’s coverage on the Swine Flu.

Marion Ali Reporting
Over at Cristiline Gill’s Adventist Primary School, children in classes appeared to be healthy. All except for a few who were sent home after they had flu-like symptoms.

Georhemi Monima’s daughter, eleven year old Yasmira Garcia was one of those sent home when she and her cousins started showing flu-like symptoms this week. But after consultation with the Corozal Town Hospital, Yasmira was suffering from regular human influenza and when she recovered, returned to classes.

Georhemi Monima, Parent
“She came back from Adventist school saying she’s been having a bad symptom of with flu and the teachers sent her back home. So I took her to the hospital, they gave her medicine. They clarified that she’s ok. So, she went back to school today.”

Marion Ali
“She’s doing well now?”

Georhemi Monima
“Well, I believe so. When she left this morning she was fine. And I hope when she comes back mid-day she is much much better.”

And while Yasmira was much better by midday, her two cousins, Yuseli Garcia and Viany Morena were not. They too were battling severe cases of the flu.

Georhemi Monima
“My niece –one of my nieces have a terrible cough. She’s the one that is been more worst in the family. She have fever for two days but since she get the medication, well, the fever is gone already but she have the cough and the flu in her nose–stuffy nose and that. And the other one, well, she is almost the same thing, it’s two of them. And the other one is having the same fever too and the flu very strong but the doctor said it’s just any regular cold. It’s nothing–nothing very like dangerous, with a concern to the virus that is going around.”

Yusely Garcia, sent home for displaying flu symptoms
“I feel good.”

Marion Ali
“You feel good? So you can go back to school now?”

Yusely Garcia
“No.”

Marion Ali
“No? Why?”

Yusely Garcia
“Cause throat is hurting me.”

Marion Ali
“Yo throat di hurt yo?”

Yusely Garcia
“I start to get cough and then I start—my throat start to hurt me and my nose start to have stuffiness.”

Marion Ali
“You had a temperature as well?”

Yusely Garcia
“Yes.”

Marion Ali
“And now you feel better?”

Yusely Garcia
“Now I feel better because I’m drinking some pills.”

Marion Ali
“So you should be able to go back to school tomorrow?”

Yusely Garcia
“Yes.”

Viany Morena, sent home for displaying flu symptoms
“I had sore throat first and then to soar throat it became cough, after cough, I was having a little bit of fever. I gwein to school tomorrow.”

Clarita Moreno’s young son, Didier Moreno has been suffering from the flu since last week and he too was sent home.

Clarita Moreno, Parent
“Yesterday I ker ah to the doctor and the doctor said it’s a normal flu that he have.”

Marion Ali
“He had it from last week?”

Clarita Moreno
“Uh huh. Right now, he noh have fever, just a lee bit of cough. I think it’s getting better.”

Marion Ali
“How you feeling?”

Didier Moreno
“Good.”

Marion Ali
“But not good enough fi goh dah school yet right”

Didier Moreno
“(Nods head)”

The children, like everybody else who are seeking medical treatment, were screened at the Corozal Town Hospital. Deputy Regional Health Manager for Corozal, Guillermina Heredia, says there are three main things that medical personnel look in determining what would be a suspected case of Swine Flu.

Guillermina Heredia, Deputy Reg. Health Mgr., Czl Town
“Any person having any signs of flu like symptoms, I’m talking about sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose or whatever. We have a doctor to screen them. So far, we don’t have no patient admitted to our hospital due to suspected cases or none because we screen them. All the persons that the screen was flu—the ordinary season flu.”

Marion Ali
“But how can you tell the difference between the ordinary flu and the swine flu from just screening?”

Guillermina Heredia
“Remember the thing that we must observe on a patient is the high temperature, the distress breathing is something that ordinary flu would have. Those two things, noh and the dry and the dry cough. That are the three thing that we must look on a patient.”

Marion Ali
“But you haven’t had the need to go to that extent and test?”

Dr. Nelson Marin, Medical Chief of Staff, Czl Hospital
“At the moment, thank God, we haven’t had the need to go to that extent up to now. Basically the patients we have had as the patients we have now is screened. It’s a bacteria that’s doing the infection. So it’s twenty-one days with the cough, so it’s a lot symptoms that don’t go with the flu-like symptoms.”

Marion Ali
“What’s the capacity of the hospital here if there should be an outbreak here in this district?”

Dr. Nelson Marin
“The plan of action if we do have an outbreak, we’re not gonna have the patients here in the hospital because the hospital should be running with all our patients. So the plane of action, we’re talking right now with the B.D.F. camp, they have facilities there. So, we’re gonna have a doctor assigned, a nurse assigned for the patient there. Have the facilities moved for the fit for those type patients who the patient would be away so that the contact would not be direct to our patient because we do have diabetic, hypertension is coming…”

Marion Ali
“But do you human resources and other resources?”

Dr. Nelson Marin
“Yes. Exactly we have the trained person for that situation already assigned.”

Between Monday and today the Adventist College in Calcutta Village had also sent home five of its students who had been suffering from the flu.

Marion Ali for News Five.

Today health personnel in Corozal met with the staff of the Casinos within the Commercial Free Zone to give them tips on practicing proper hygiene. People who have flu-like symptoms are advised to seek medical attention at once in order that their condition is screened and the proper medication is administered.

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