HSA aware of all high risk groups

| 08/06/2009

(CNS): Now that Cayman has recorded two case of the novel H1N1 flu (formerly swine flu) and is expecting more confirmed cases this week, despite the Health Services Authority’s best efforts to keep people informed of the situation there is still considerable misunderstanding in the community, especially about Tamiflu. Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeskema told CNS that the administration of Tamiflu is being done within the CDC/WHO guidelines, that officials are aware of all the high risk groups and it isn’t being withheld from anyone who needs it.

“We are aware of all the potential high risk groups and we are following the guidelines laid out by the CDC and WHO,” explained Dr Hoeksema. “Now that the virus is in the community we are considering each patient on a case by case basis and addressing their level of risk in relation to those groups in our clinical evaluations for treatment.”

Dr Hoeksema pointed out that Tamiflu is not a cure but a treatment that can help prevent complications in high risk patients. “If someone is sick enough to be in the hospital. Tamiflu can be beneficial for those patients who could develop complications. However, it has limited value in patients who are otherwise healthy and not in one of the high risk groups.” He noted that they would offer the treatment to those over 65, pregnant women and very small children, but there are dangers in administering it to patients who are not very sick.

Dr Anna Matthews, the acting director of Public Health, explained the problem of resistance with over use. “If we are to use Tamiflu on too wide an audience there is a real public health risk of mutating the virus which will then become resistant.”

She explained that there are only four varieties of Tamiflu and this particular strain of flu is already resistant to two of them. If it is given to patients that don’t need it, the danger of it developing resistance to the remaining two is very real, which would create an even greater problem should the flu return mutated for the autumn flu season.

Dr Matthews noted that, given the circumstances, the community now needs people who have symptoms to come in for testing and to then confine themselves to their homes to stop spreading the virus.

The idea of closing down schools or work places is not necessary, officials say, as the flu is no more virulent than other strains of seasonal flu for most people and, as it is not normal practice to close things down for seasonal flu, it is misguided to do so for this session. Health officials also confirmed that work colleagues of the latest case are being informed so that they can be tested.

On Friday, the new Minister for Health Mark Scotland said the HSA was handling the situation and that residents should take some responsibility to help control the spread. “This is a national health issue, and while government will do all it can, I want residents to also take responsibility – arm yourselves with facts and learn as much as possible about H1N1.  Follow the advice of public health officials: Stay at home if you are sick and follow the rules of good personal hygiene,” Scotland stated.

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  1. Tiny swine down low says:

    I have awoken this morning with a terrible headache and feeling of nausea. I am extremely concerned that I may have contracted the now seemingly commonplace “wine flu”. It is my sincere hope that the HSA has ensured adequate supply of phenzic, pepsi and spicy gas station dogs as I understand this is the only known cure. Please advise.

  2. TEAM CAYMAN IN MIAMI says:

    BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!!!!   OMG! OMG! OMG!  WE CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT WE ARE HEARING!!!!    SWINE FLU IN CAYMAN!!!!!!!    THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!! EMERGENCY!!!!

    MY friends dont panic!  Have no FEAR!!!!   Your favourite news team is now here!!!!   We got this late breaking news from one of our reporters working in Cayman!!!!     We as a dedicated news team is going to try our best to help get a cure for you all!!!!   To help protect you all we must Slaughterrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  those pigs right now!  Leave no pigs alive!   They are unclean and unhealthy!!!   SHUT DOWN CAYMAN AIRPORT NOW FOR THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!!!!!!!!      ANYONE COUGHING IN CAYMAN TRY TO STAY AT LEAST 1000 FEET FROM THEM NOW!!!!!   STOP THOSE SHIPS FROM PORTING CAYMAN  RIGHT NOW!!!!!   FOR CRYING OUT LOUD STOP EATING MEXICAN TACOS!!!!   BUT PLEASE KEEP DRINKING THE TEQUILLA!!!!    FOR WE BELIEVE TEQUILLA MIGHT YET BE THE CURE FOR THIS SWINE FLU!!!!

    My fellow Caymanians plsssssssssssssss we advice you not to come to Miami!!!!  My team do not want to catch your swine flu!!!!    How do u expect us to report the news to you if we all get it!!!!    Now parents plssssssss keep those bad a$$ kids of yours indoors!!!!   Make sure they wash their hands and brush their teeth!  Give them lots of candies to eat!!!  

    So my Caymanians pls dont fear!!!   Our news reporters will be working around the clock  first thing tommorow morning!!  Remember always pray before you go to that George town hospital!  Trust me you will all need it!!!!  If your going to go there you might as well stay home and drink tequilla!! 

    TEAM CAYMAN KEEPING YOU ALL INFORM!!!   TEAM CAYMAN IS OUT!!!!