Nasal swabs prove positive for flu

| 23/07/2009

(CNS): Five residents of the Caribbean Haven residential facility had nasal swabs collected by Public Health Department officials to test for influenza, and two tested positive for both influenza A and B in the local laboratory. All five samples have been sent to the CAREC lab in Trinidad for final confirmation, and the results are expected in the next few days, a GIS release states. Results for the young male resident who died on Monday, 20 July, tested negative locally, but final results are still pending from CAREC.

A second resident whose illness also required hospitalisation tested negative locally, and the person has since been discharged.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar and Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeksema met several times this week with residents and staff of Caribbean Haven to provide information and address their concerns. The release stated that residential-care facilities represent a unique population that has specific World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for the use of Tamiflu for both treatment and prophylaxis (preventive treatment) for influenza infections.

The two residents who tested positive both experienced mild symptoms and are recovering in isolation at the facility.

The overwhelming majority of people in the Cayman Islands who have contracted H1N1 experiencemild symptoms and make a rapid and full recovery, often without any medical treatment, Dr Kumar noted. Everyone should continue taking preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, including frequent hand washing. Persons who are sick should stay home and avoid contact with others.

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu. These groups include children under the age of five, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

If these people develop a fever with a cough, sore throat, or runny nose, they should consult their health care providers immediately. In addition, those in high-risk categories who have had household contact with known flu cases should contact their physician to receive Tamiflu, in order to prevent illness even if they still feel well.

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We are focusing too much on the science and testing associated with the flu! We as a community need to be vigilant in monitoring ourselves. This requires us to wash our hands frequently, Properly dispose of tissues, limit person to person contact inclusive of the recommended six feet, If someone is ill in the home be vigilant about wiping services with standard household disenfectants and if an adult has flu symtoms be mindfull that it may not be the best choice to send your children to camp or daycare given there is an incubation period. Bottom line, if you are ill with flu symptoms STAY HOME and only leave your home if you need to seek medical attention for symtoms that are too severe to manage at home. It is unfortunate and sad that we had a death of a member of our community however, this young mans death shall not be in vein if his memory serves as a reminder of the importance of following the advice and guidlines set forth by the HSA, CDC and The World Health Organization in regards to prevention and warnings of serious health complications associated with Flu.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Told you so. Our first death a 31 year old male not the "high" risk group. I wonder if the HSA withheld Tamifli from him. Trust what the doctors have been saying now?.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please tell our "professional" staff here for health what is really occuring with this virus.  This "only children and seniors" issue is very serious, as it shows our health system doesn’t keep up with the latest advice and statistics.

    "The highest rates are in those under 25. When we look at hospitalized cases, nearly 80 percent of people who have been hospitalized in the U.S. and reported to us have been under 50. The median age of hospitalized cases is 19 years old. When we look at the most severe outcomes, the people who have died, the age is a bit older. The median age of those who have died is 37, still quite young for anyone to be dying of an infectious disease, but a bit older than the hospitalizations and the average cases."

    "As of July 17, 2009, 40,617 confirmed and probable infections with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus and 211 deaths (7 deaths in individuals 0-4 years, 43 deaths in individuals 5-24 years, 101 deaths in adults 25-49 years, 66 deaths in adults 50-64 years, 23 deaths in adults age 65 and older and 22 deaths with unknown age)"

    Look at where the large majority of deaths occurred, 5-64 years of age.  not what our "doctors" are describing as high risk groups.

    I wish someone in the media would point this out to the so called "doctors".

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, now that we have our first  confirmed death from swine flu one would have to question the reliability of the testing that is carried out here on the island.  The test on the young man who died tested negative by local authorities who came forward and said that the swine flu was  not the cause of the death; however, results from overseas came back positive. 

      This is scary, because now we can’t even beleive authorties when they tell us that we don’t have the flu when in fact the bloody thing could be killing us slowly. 

      Cayman is taking this thing to lightly but this  should be a wake up call for how serious this virus really is.