The Ministry of Health wishes to inform the public that we are into flu season.
The general public is advised to maintain good hygiene and follow the instructions given in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as influenza like illness and acute gastroenteritis in Dominica.
Seasonal flu is a yearly occurrence of flu infection caused by a flu virus. It is a contagious respiratory illness that may cause mild to severe illnesses.
• If you are experiencing flu like symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chill and vomiting) or acute diarrheal symptoms (3 episodes or more of loose bowel in 24 hours) seek medical attention at your nearest health centre/facility.
If you are having flu-like symptoms please observe the following
* Avoid being in crowded place and close contact of others.
* Use clean tissue to cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
* Place used tissue in a garbage bin after single use
* Wash your hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer often.
* Do not take aspirin for fever
Gastroenteritis is a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is caused by eating food or drinking water which is contaminated by a bacteria or virus. Lack of or improper hand washing, especially after using the toilet or handling of dirty diapers causes the spread of Gastroenteritis from one person to another.
• In case of diarrheal disease with three episodes or more of loose bowel in 24 hours you should submit stool samples to your nearest health care facility packaged in a clean, clear and tightly capped plastic container along with name, age, gender and address on the container.
• Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. We recommend oral rehydration fluid, coconut water, diluted fruit juice or plain boiled water.
• Do not stop breastfeeding a child even if he or she has diarrhoea
• Observe good hygiene practices to help stem the spread of the illness.
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer after using the toilet, before preparing food and drinks and before breast feeding or handling infants, children or the elderly
REMEMBER YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
For more information contact the Health Promotion Unit at 266 3469/3470.