Suspected “Swine Flu” Outbreak in Belize Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 00:00

The Ministry of Health is conducting tests on a number of patients receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for severe respiratory infections that is suspected of being Influenza H1N1.

According to a release from the Ministry, over recent weeks there has been a cluster of patients with influenza. Many of those infected were severe cases. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the individual suspected of being infected with the virus died over the Christmas holiday. The Ministry says “As soon as laboratory results are made available we should be able to confirm or rule out if indeed it is [Influenza H1N1].” Tests have been sent to CAREC in Trinidad and Tobago and should return soon. There is no need to panic as experts now know that H1N1 is no more deadly than seasonal influenza.

However, the Ministry reminds the public that we are in the flu season.  The flu virus is circulating and every person is at risk of catching the flu. One can reduce such risk by simply washing hands frequently with soap and clean water; coughing and sneezing into shirt sleeve and not hands; keeping hands away from your face; keeping common surface areas (such as door knobs, counters) clean and disinfected and limit contact with others as much as possible if infected. The Ministry stresses the importance of visiting nearby health facilities if symptoms are persisting or become more severe.