The Ministry of Health in its weekly update said on Monday that there have been 17 cases of swine flu for 2020 as of last week Friday.
The flu season lasts from October to May and with Carnival right around the corner and with thousands of foreigners expected in the country, the ministry is strongly urging people to get vaccinated and also to basic precations as they go about their normal daily routine.
The ministry said that its data shows that as of last Friday, the cumulative number of vaccines administered to the public for this flu season was 60,256; the number of suspected influenza cases for the 2020 calendar year was 17 cases as opposed to 3,638 cases for calendar year 2019 and 38 deaths from the influenza were confirmed.
The Influenza virus is serious and is generally more severe than the common cold.
The flu vaccine is available, at no cost, at all health centres. Persons in the following groups are particularly vulnerable to the virus and are urged to get the flu vaccine: Children aged 6 months to 5 years; pregnant women; adults over 65; people with chronic medical conditions (such as Diabetes Mellitus) and people with chronic respiratory illnesses (such as Asthma).
Persons in the health care workforce and essential services are also encouraged to get the flu vaccine. Members of the public are advised to contact their nearest health centre to confirm the dates and times that vaccines are distributed. Additionally, everyone should take the following necessary personal health precautions to protect themselves and their families from the Influenza virus and other diseases:
Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub; avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way; 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 and cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
After using a tissue, throw it in the bin and wash hands thoroughly.