Dr. Joy St. John (FP)????

An adult is the first person in this country to die as a result of Influenza A (H1N1).?? This was disclosed today by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Joy St. John, who pointed out that the individual had underlying medical conditions.

In offering her "condolences to the deceased’s family", Dr. St. John said she "deeply regretted the passing of the person."

She urged the public to take the necessary precautionary measures and follow the guidelines put out by the Ministry of Health, so as to minimise the risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.

The CMO particularly mentioned those persons attending mass gatherings – such as church services, sporting and social events, school, and day care centres; as well as the high risk?? categories – especially?? pregnant women, children under five years of age, persons over 65 years of age or older who suffer with heart disease or stroke, and those with chronic medical conditions, including asthma and other lung conditions, sickle cell anaemia, heart disease, diabetes, and any other condition which might weaken the immune system.

"We must continue to practise good hygiene if we are going to overcome this H1N1 outbreak. This death also shows that those predisposed groups must be extremely careful," she warned.

To date, Barbados has recorded 96 confirmed cases of Influenza A (H1N1), including the one death.?? However, Dr. St. John was quick to point out that "this figure does not accurately reflect the current incidence of the disease here, since we have not been swabbing everybody who has exhibited flu-like symptoms in wake of the fact that there is in-country transmission."

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