2 swine flu deaths in Tobago

Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington -
Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington -


There have been two swine flu deaths in Tobago this year.

Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Dr Agatha Carrington told Newsday this in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Without giving the dates, she said these deaths were recorded several weeks ago.

People in Tobago are being vaccinated, she said, adding that of the 3,000 doses sent to Tobago, approximately 950 have been dispensed. She said most of those vaccinated are health workers.

The Min­istry of Health said the number of confirmed deaths from the H1N1 virus this flu season is 32.

In a press release, the ministry gave guide­lines against con­tract­ing the swine flu.

– Wash your hands of­ten with soap and wa­ter. If soap and wa­ter are not avail­able, use an al­co­hol-based hand rub.

– Avoid touch­ing your eyes, nose and mouth.

–  Clean and dis­in­fect sur­faces and ob­jects that may be con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with germs. Where pos­si­ble, avoid close con­tact with sick peo­ple.

– While sick, lim­it con­tact with oth­ers as much as pos­si­ble to keep from in­fect­ing them.

– Cov­er your nose and mouth with a tis­sue when you cough or sneeze. Af­ter us­ing a tis­sue, throw it in the bin and wash your hands.

The ministry has been running a campaign sensitising the public to the influenza virus and encouraging people to get vaccinated. The virus is much more serious than the common flu and the vaccine is available at all health centres, free of charge.

The official flu season is from October 2019-May 2020, and people are advised to get vaccinated every year, as the virus can mutate and the vaccine may not be able to stave off the new strain.

The ministry reported that 33,101 people have already had the vaccine this season, with 3,232 suspected cases for the year.

It says chil­dren be­tween six months and five years, preg­nant women and adults over 65 and peo­ple with chron­ic ill­ness­es such as di­a­betes and asth­ma should take ex­tra pre­cau­tionss.

Last Sunday, Tobago calypsonian Henson Wright, father of national long jumper Andwuelle Wright, died after having the flu and complaining of feeling “a bit off”.

Wright, known as Calypso Prince, was a three-time Tobago Calypso Monarch champ and participant at the Magnificent Glow Calypso Tent.

Newsday was told that on Saturday, Wright developed a fever and was found unconscious by his girlfriend. He died on Sunday morning at the Scarborough General Hospital.

It has not yet been determined whether Wright's death was caused by the H1N1 virus.


"2 swine flu deaths in Tobago"

More in this section