Barbados has recorded another twelve confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1) during the past week. These included four males and eight females, ranging in age from five to 44 years. Two of these affected persons were hospitalised, but have since been discharged.??
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 43. According to the Ministry of Health, these may represent only a fraction of the total number of persons infected.?? During the last week the Ministry of Health also decided that it was no longer necessary to test all persons suspected of being infected with H1N1 and that only a sample of ill persons would be tested.
Symptoms of Influenza A(H1N1) are similar to regular influenza. They include fever with cough or sore throat, as well as runny nose, headaches, joint and back pain.?? Some persons may also experience vomiting and diarrhoea.??
Persons are reminded that they should follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health if they suspect that they may be infected with Influenza A(H1N1).?? These include observing general hygiene measures as well as staying away from work or school and avoiding being out in public during the period of illness.????
While Barbados has recorded mainly mild cases so far, with few persons requiring hospitalisation, members of the public are once again reminded that severe illness and death may occur in vulnerable persons.??
Persons are asked to note that medical attention should be sought in the event of severe illness, worsening symptoms, or illness in specified groups, such as persons with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women or young children.