Suspect flu cases to report to CI Hospital

| 01/05/2009

(CNS): Although there are still no reported cases of swine flu in the Cayman Islands, Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar is advising anyone who develops flu-like symptoms, such as a fever with cough, sore throat or cold, within seven days of returning from any swine flu-affected area to report to the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital. He also said people with those symptoms who have been in close contact with any confirmed case of swine flu should also attend the hospital.

Dr. Kumar said that hospital staff are ready to receive these patients as a priority and hand sanitizer and masks are provided outside Accident & Emergency. Patients should clean their hands, place a mask over their face and then proceed directly inside to the Triage Desk for assessment if it is a suspected case and appropriate care.

 “Asking those suspected of having the flu to wear masks is an effective way of reducing the spread of the virus. We are not currently recommending masks to everyone, as they are not effective in keeping healthy people from getting sick in the community. Masks are useful in preventing infected persons from transmitting the virus to others,” Dr Kumar added.

The Public Health Department has also advised private practitioners and the Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital of the procedures now in place and this is a national health response.

Swine flu symptoms in people are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever with cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

“The World Health Organisation has decided yesterday to change the name of the swine flu virus to Influenza A (H1N1). However, these two names will be used interchangeably for some time,” Dr Kumar explained.

According to the latest global reports and WHO officials the flu has now reached 12 countries on three continents, killing fewer people than past pandemics. Hong Kong confirmed a flu case today, the first in Asia and laboratory tests have verified that more than 331 people in North America, Europe and New Zealand have the strain, according to the World Health Organization’s Web site. Hundreds more cases are suspected in the U.S., Europe,Mexico and Australia.

The Geneva-based WHO raised its six-tier alert to 5 on April 29 and may move soon to the next and final level, declaring the world’s first influenza pandemic since 1968. WHO urged countries to make final preparations against the disease. Evidence suggests that “transmission is widespread, and that less severe illness is common,” the Atlanta-based CDC has said.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Based on all international advisories, suspected patients should not rush to the A&E at any public hospital.  I do not agree with this health advisory from Cayman Public Health doctor and Medical Director of Health.  Those people should stay at home and call the hospital or the doctor to come to them.  This would prevent the spreading of this flu.  This is common sense.  You do not need to have a M.D to understand this.  Also, our emergency department at the hospital takes 2-3 hours to process a patient and during this time any suspected patient could spread this to another 10-15 innocent healthy individuals sitting at the waiting area.  THIS IS SCARY.

    Does our Health & Medical Practioners Board check the qualifications and other background information of the physicians who come to these shores to practice medicine before issuing a practing licence??? 

  2. Caymanite says:

    Sorry to be the deliverer of bad news but take heed:-

    Viruses enter the body through moist open doors……otherwise known as the MOUTH, the NOSE and guess what? The EYES. So unless you are going to also wear goggles then a mask really is not the secret weapon people think it is.

    What we need is to practise good health, eat well, lower stress levels and exercise, good old fashioned fresh air will do a lot more than sitting in front of your computer worrying about what may or may not be………so on that note…….

    Over and Out 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Kummar is stating that they are  currently not recommending that healthy people wear masks as it will not prevent them from getting sick: well, that’s  not what I heard from CNN’s Dr. Sonjo Gupta who said that healthy people wearing masks could prevent a person from getting ill from the swine flu.  The masks prevents large clusters of the virus from entering the body thhrough the nostrils and causing that person to catch the influenza. 

    I would much prefer to heed the advice of this doctor over what we are being told locally.  Bear in mind this was the person, Dr. Gupta,  whom Obama had marked as surgeon general of the US. The good doctor declined the offer due to family commitments.  Who would you trust at this time?

    • Anonymous says:

      The masks help in protecting from sick persons; hence close contacts –i.e upto six feet of a patient i.e any one attending to sick persons–doctors and nurses, family going close to pt should wear masks; but not the entire population in airports and super markets etc–that is the advice given.

  4. Resignations at Public Health says:

    This "advice" runs contrary to what all the leading nations of the world have advised.  These all seem to concur that doctors should come to the suspected sufferer not the other way round.  Why have been told to do the opposite – is it lack of resources?  Let’s us hope this is a false alert, and it has been useful to show what a bunch of incompetents we have at Public Health and as Health Minister.  Get rid of them.  Spend money on anti-virals.  Move on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good guesture. How fortunate we are. How many outbreaks we many died in cayman due to outbreaks. We are always blessed. better not to make this politics,just you want to get rid of Mr.Eden because of Swine Flu. he did not create. He got the tamiflu in a week’s time . Do you want to get rid of him for that? He is getting every one to get quick testing and treatment.Do you want to get rid of him? Well if you don’t want him because of your political affiliation, that is fine; but do not mix medicine with politics.let us all enjoy good health god blessed us with

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope that when any person who is showing any of the mentioned flu like  symptoms show up at the emergency room they are able to be taken care of swiftly and not caused to have to spend hours on end sitting with other patients who might be there for other complaints.

    I’ve  had to sit in that waiting room for hours before being attended to myself, so could you imagine a person who might be a potential  swin flu carrier doing the same thing.

    That flu like sympton person should be given preference over all others so that they might not cause others to be contaminated.  Perhaps a special area could be designated especially for people with these symptoms.  This would better help to contain the virus and not expose anyone else at that time.

    • Anonymous says:

      The advisory states  –such patients should clean their hands, place a mask over their face and then proceed directly inside to the Triage Desk for assessment if it is a suspected case and appropriate care.—so they will be taken care immediately

  6. Dr.S.K.Mohanty says:

    In my opinion the advice given to flu victims who suspect anything otherwise should be anything but go to the Accident and Emergency deptt !

    The A & E Deptt is the entry point for all the public and the attempt here shopuld be isolate and contain potential cases. So, advising suspect cases to mingle with general public is not the best of advice.

    Again, in my opinion- Public Health should issue a hotline phone number which concerned citizens can call and then public health officials should go out to that member in their homes to carry out the needful- hence the flu remains confined to their respective homes.

     In my opinion that is best practice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Mixing with the general population of the hospital is the worst way to handle this. Besides people with just a normal flu would not  want to be labeled this way by wearing a breathing mask. And it might result in them not going to hospital at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        As per the advisory those suspected patients coming from mexico or other affected areas should clean their hands, place a mask over their face –these are provided outside the A/E and then proceed directly inside to the Triage Desk for assessment if it is a suspected case and appropriate care–they will be taken care in a side room. There is no mix up

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you that just a normal flu would not  want to be labeled this way by wearing a breathing mask. I think that is what dr.Kumar was saying by  advising anyone who develops flu-like symptoms,  within seven days of returning from any swine flu-affected area to report to the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Cayman Islands Hospital to wear mask and go inside  so that they can be assessed immediately. he was not saying for every one with cough to wear a mask. i think we both are on the same page but not dr.mohanty who should know better. Any way he is urologist, not an internist who treats pnemonias. let us all try to work together as we did after ivan rather making issues .

        • Dr.S.K.Mohanty says:

          I think I am missing something here.

          My opinion is confirmed by a NHS UK bulletin.

          I herewith provide the link:

           Please see the advisory and hope you will hed the advise given therein.

    • A Concerned Caymanian says:

       Thank You!!!!   Dr Mohanty.

      For pointing out !!!!what every one with any Common Sense should already know.


       What is really happening at this multimillion hospital that we have here!!!! Are all of the people  employed there and raking in the big salaries a bunch of Asses!!!!!!!

       Please excersise some common sense, when making  your  statements!!!!

      People out here are really fed up with Dr Kumar!!!!   You  Sir should know better!!!!!