swine fluThe Ministry of Health is informing the public that based on a review of  surveillance data from the Health Information Unit there are no confirmed cases and no outbreak of Swine Flu or the H1N1 virus in Dominica.

There has been reports of outbreaks of the virus in the islands of St. Vincent, Barbados and Trinidad.

In light of the outbreak in these islands, the Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation closely and  wishes to assure the public that  all systems for response to influenza cases are in place.

However, the Ministry would like to remind the public to practice good personal hygiene to protect themselves and others from acquiring the influenza (flu) virus.

Symptoms of the Swine Flu include: sudden high fever (over 38°C or 100°F), sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, headache, body aches and  fatigue.

Persons experiencing Influenza-like symptoms and any signs of faintness, weakness or breathing difficulty should seek medical attention immediately .

The most common method of transmission of the  influenza (flu) virus is through droplets released into the air from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. This can happen when droplets are inhaled directly by people nearby. Some droplets containing the virus also fall on hard surfaces (like desks, tables, phones and door knobs). People get infected when they touch these surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose.

Here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself and others from getting the Flu:-
•    Wash your hands with soap and water more now than usual;
•    If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers and rub your hands together very hard for a minute or more;
•    Avoid shaking hands and kissing;
•    Cover your mouth and nose  with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
•    Throw away soiled tissue in a garbage bin after single use;
•    Avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean because cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth;
•    If you are sick, stay away from crowds, young children and very elderly persons
•    Drink a lot of fluids, juice, water, coconut water and soups;

The  Ministry of Health will keep the public informed of any new developments.