Mandeville Weekly News


Posted by SR (riley) on Jan 04 2017 at 5:26 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

The Ministry of Health is urging Jamaicans to be vigilant against contracting influenza viruses, typically more common around this time of year.The caution comes in light of the flu season which occurs during the cooler months, September to March.Director, Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Sonia Copeland said influenza A and B are the types mainly seen in Jamaica.  “The symptoms are coughing, sneezing and it can spread rapidly because these are droplets that are airborne.  So persons who are close by, or who would have touched surfaces that the person who is ill has touched, then they can become infected especially if those fingers are going up to the eyes, in and around the nose and the mouth.  This is how it is easily transmitted,” she said.

Other symptoms of influenza include fever, headaches, tiredness and to a lesser extent body aches, vomiting and diarrhoea. Pregnant women and persons with chronic illnesses with flu like symptoms, should immediately seek medical attention.
Dr. Copeland said that frequent hand washing with soap and water, as well as limiting contact with others with the flu, are key to preventing infection, adding that the use of hand sanitizer with over 60 per cent alcohol content may also be used.
 Persons with flu like symptoms are being reminded to cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.  “If you have no tissue or hand towel that you can get to quickly, you just cough into your elbow to prevent it going out and becoming airborne and infecting others.  After you have used those tissue sheets, then you have to dispose of them carefully to prevent someone else from becoming infected,” Dr. Copeland said, noting that rest and the consumption of fluids are critical during this period.