The number of confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) for Barbados has risen by nine, over the past two weeks. Three of the infected persons were female and six were male, with ages ranging from five to 39 years old. This brings the total number of confirmed cases for Barbados to 52. The Ministry of Health has advised however that at this time the number of confirmed cases reflects only a portion of the number of persons who are likely to have contracted the illness.??
The Ministry of Health has also noted that while influenza A (H1N1) may infect persons of any age, records both locally and internationally are showing a trend towards a larger number of children and adults under the age of 35 contracting the virus.??
Members of the public have been reminded that they should continue to practice hygiene measures, which include frequent hand washing and covering of nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing. Those experiencing fever with cough or sore throat, should stay away from school or work and seek medical attention if symptoms are prolonged or severe, and if they fall into a high risk category.?? High risk categories include persons with underlying lung conditions and other chronic illnesses, women who are pregnant, frail or elderly persons and children under the age of five.
Persons seeking medical attention at doctors’ offices or clinics should inform the staff of their symptoms on arrival and may be required to wear a mask or sit in a separate area in order to reduce the risk of passing on the virus to other patients.