There are still only four confirmed Influenza A H1N1 cases, but the Ministry of Health disclosed yesterday, that another 10 samples had been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad for further testing.

The results are expected to be back within a week and Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Joy St. John, said the Ministry???s surveillance measures had been intensified and several treatment protocols were circulated to doctors in the public and private sectors.

She was speaking at a Press briefing yesterday to give an update on Influenza A H1N1 and dengue fever at the Ministry of Health, Culloden Road, St. Michael.

???We have been sending suspected swabs to the CARPHA laboratory. As well, Dr. [Elizabeth] Ferdinand has re-established the framework that we had in place for the pandemic H1N1 period of 2009. So as soon as we need to, we can put all of those extra measures in place.

???The messaging to all of the stakeholders and to the general public about hand hygiene and cough etiquette will also be intensified. We will also be doing some texts cell phone blasts,??? the Chief Medical Officer disclosed.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health, John Boyce, revealed during the Press briefing that he had ???signed off??? on a Cabinet paper on Monday to introduce the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in January next year. Certain types of HPV may cause cervical cancer. The vaccine will initially be administered to 11 year-old school girls.

???The Ministry of Education fully supports the vaccine and once Cabinet approves, we will engage in a public awareness programme to make people more aware of the benefits of the vaccine before the implementation,??? Mr. Boyce said.

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