Minister: “No need to panic”

| 05/06/2009

(CNS): Updated noon Friday The new Minister for Health stressed at a press briefing today that the one confirmed case of  H1N1 flu (formerly known as swine flu) was an imported case and there had been no evidence of local human-to-human transmission of the virus, which, he said, was good news. "There is no need for panic, but we need to take this seriously," Minister Mark Scotland told members of the media. Announcing Cayman’s first identified case of swine flu Thursday evening, Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar said the patient was a student at First Baptist School but is recovering well in home isolation and did not suffer severe illness.

The patient reportedly came to Health Services Authority’s Accident and Emergency for testing on 29 May after falling sick upon returning from a trip to New York, and had reportedly attended school for a few hours before going home ill.

Scotland said that parents of stuents at the school were notified of the closing last night, and a clinic was held at the school from 9 – 11 am today to allow any of the students or staff who may have been sick over the past week to attend to be screened for the H1N1 flu.

the minister said he supported the chosen strategy of early identification and containment, and commend the fast response of public health officials – both in getting the message out and meeting with the school representatives. "I am confident that the health officials are dealing with the situation in the best manner possible, and I commend them for the swift and organised manner in which they responded. It is comforting to know that there is a plan in place, and that the parties involved are prepared to implement it as soon as action is required."

Emphasising that people should not panic, he said, "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."

Yesterday Dr Kumar explained that local testing was positive for Influenza A and subsequent CAREC results, which returned today, tested positive for H1N1. "Our strategy is to identify and contain the H1N1 virus in the Cayman Islands. This case is an imported case.”


Health Services Authority Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeksema said that, although people need to take every precaution, they should not panic: "This case has proved that our local surveillance is working and we are in full response mode. Our main aim now is to contain this flu as much as possible.” He added that US data that showed that the H1N1 flu virus has an attack rate of 10% in public and 20% at home. "This means that for every ten people a sick person comes into contact with, one might get sick," Dr Hoeksema explained.

Health officials said they would continue to keep the public informed of any developments but asked people to observe good hygiene

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. If you are sick, stay home from work or school and protect others by avoiding close contact with them. Good health is also important — eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.

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  1. Nicki says:

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  2. Lite's Out!! says:

    Lite Moment turned sour by Lite Minds…

    It’s sad how pathetically petty some of these political supporters are.  I guess you do need dumb sheep to keep the campaign going. 

    Everyone was so high strung about their sacred party’s name that they got sucked into a joke.  Imagine how bent their brow must have been trying to type the words to defend their ‘insulted’ party. 

    Wind ’em up again M.Lite! I think the suckers are good for another round or two!  I will be watching and laughing!!


  3. anonymous says:

    hahahahahohohoho….I agree, M.Lite and others, you gave me a good laugh today…just what I needed after all da tension in da air in recent times!  No doubt UDP, Governor, Bridger, Bulgin and all dem need to be held accountable for this ya swine flu…..take dem out and take dem out for good…and oh, no tami-flu for any ah dem!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you M. Lite! You gave me such a good laugh this afternoon! And all of the comments that followed! Omg! Just too funny! I guess some people…mainly them UDP supporters it seems…don’t know how to take a JOKE!! Ha! HA! I like how you got the blood pumping this afternoon! Just too funny I tell ya!

    It’s a serious situation we face with the outbreak of the H1N1 virus here in Cayman, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to just laugh instead of being so uptight all the time.

    We just have to be smart now and look out for ourselves and our loved ones the best we can. That’s about all we can do now:)

    Good sense of humour M. Lite!…nothing wrong with that:)

  5. Angry PIG says:

    Ummmm 14,000 people die a year from FLU FLU. The normal sneeze and cough.  A few thousand die from tools falling from overhead per year worldwide. So far maybe 150 have died from Swine Flu…

    Cash Cab starts right after work fellas. Go home and enjoy your weekend. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    "The new minister says that he is glad that there is a plan in place.  So Mark, PPM did do something right!  Different from what you were saying on the campaign trail!"

    Let me inform you; the PPM had nothing to do with this plan.  What the PPM should have done was to establish a Public Health Dept – seperate and apart from the H.S.A. as is customary in all other parts of the world and they failed  do so.  This plan was the brainchild of Dr. Kiran Kumar and his staff – as a matter of fact the only PPM member/minister that was present at the launch of this plan was the former Minister for Health – because of his capacity.  So please PPM can’t take credit for this. 

    • Makam says:

      So even though the UDP who had years before the PPM to implement a Public Health Department seperate to the HSA and did not doso are better because the PPM only had their Minister of Health attend the launch of the present plan

      ….uhhh…UDP logic stikes again???

  7. whatever happens, happens! says:

    Thanks for the chuckle you provided M.Lite!

    I have always felt that "Rundown" could use more political satire (we all know there is lots of stuff to work with) now I know why it is not being done!

    Reminds me of the time whena local publication was reporting (in a 1st of April issue), that a bridge was going to be built between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac! Many people thought it was for real and reacted very strongly!

    To me, some days a satirical perspective is the only way I can retain my sanity!


  8. OMG says:



    M.Lite was only joking!!!!!



  9. Kermit the Frog says:

    Mr. Partridge, I have it from a reliable source that the next animal related flu outbreak is expected to originate in the great state of Oregon. Over the past few weeks there have been many reported cases of their State animal coughing and wheezing and generally exhibiting flu like symptoms.

    Mr. Lite, I blame the Governor and the A.G. and suggest we send them both on a Constitutional lesson learning trip to Mexico City. Coach class.


  10. Alan Partridge says:

    I love that you’ve all got so wound up by M.Lite, who is clearly pulling your legs and merely pointing out that everything seems to be blamed on one political party or another!

    And to reiterate a previous poster, this is flu, not ebola.  Until someones eyes start bleeding and turn to mush, I suggest you all get on with your lives.

  11. hubert says:

    There was clearly a good deal of parody and facetiousness in M. Lite’s comments. It is a sad reflection on the aptitude of some of the responders that those comments served to prompt further hysteria, rather than put it in perspective.

  12. FED UP says:

    When are we CAYMANIANS going to stop this stupid political bashing??? When are WE going to UNITE?

    Why don’t you people stop and really listen to yourselves. We need to unite as a nation and try to assist each other in staying safe and fighting off this flu in Cayman. It is no one’s fault that this has happened here, we need to just take precautions.

    Please I beg, just stop this rubbish and let us unite as one. A nation is fully fuctional when all the people are together in one accord (please I don’t mean the car). 

  13. whodatis says:


    M. Life…you too bad! You know full well many of my Caymanian people have never heard of "satire"!

    Shame on you for fanning these flames!!


  14. noname says:

    This is unavoidable because of the nature of this contagious flu however some folks are indeed very inconsiderate by travelling to areas where they are well aware of outbreaks of the swine flu No one is asking you to put your lives on hold but be considerate you may not only put other people lives on hold but to a full stop by your selfish actions.

    • R. Stripe says:

      My dear friend M. Lite has made an interesting point (albeit in the wrong forum): UDP supporters are sore winners and lack a sense of humor. Nothing funny about Swine flu but come on, M. Lite’s comment could well have come from a sarcastic UDP person. Judging from the follow up comments you people just don’t get it, and are just waiting to pounce on any perceived UPD bashing. Have fun, cuz you’ll have 4 years to lurk in these forums and attack anyone who dares mention the U word. Ha Ha Ha.

      R. Stripe

  15. Anonymous says:

    Would you PLEASE stop making this a politics issue!? M. Lite the UDP Government has NOTHING to do with this young person getting H1N1 virus! This virus/flu is brand new to the world…if it had been around 4 years ago when PPM were in office – I’m sure there would’ve been several cases of it same way on the island! You’re so beyond FOOLISH for making such a stupid comment!

    • Makam says:

      Re. M. Lite’s posting….

      Come on you people can’t you understand a satirical comment when it hits you in the face? It was satirical wasn’t it???

  16. Anonymous says:

    The new minister says that he is glad that there is a plan in place.  So Mark, PPM did do something right!  Different from what you were saying on the campaign trail!



  17. Nemo Harking says:

    How come prayer failed to protect this child?

    We all know that faith in almighty God will save us. What was lacking inthis case?

  18. Anonymous says:

    M lite.   WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID can you or any Government stop this flu from comming to Cayman.  Please use your head befour you post stupidness.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well, now that M.Lite has made this Political… might I add my 2 cents?….    I’m not sure what going to happen as far as Gov’t implementing more sanitation programs.   Becuase my child attends a Govt Primary School and she complains most days of there being no toilet paper…  I think the sanitation of these premises if put under a microscope would be worst than a Nightmare, becuase when we wake up the problem will still be there! This is something that needs to be looked into..  In the mean time, I’ve been sending my child with a small container of wipes and small bottle of hand sanitizer daily.  So, parents please take some time to look out for the safety of yourself and your kids.

    Take Care Cayman!

  20. Anonymous says:

    "Where is TEAM CAYMAN when we need him most?????!!!!!"

    Oh for God’s sake don’t start that manure again…

  21. Anonymous says:

    In response to M. Lite. It seems that you have a case of bull crap flu that just flew up in your head. your statement doesn’t make any sense. You seem like someone who just drop out of space, with no understanding to what goes on on earth.

    The swine flu is a virus that has spread from Mexico and is now in all parts of the world, you dummy.

    This has nothing to do with PPM or UDP.  You must have been high on drugs when posting this statement. LMAO LMAO!!!! you need serious help.

    Anyways back to facts, if you want to talk about the swine flu on a political basis, PPM was the ones who didn’t want to purchase the treatment for the H1N1 virus, because it was too expensive.

    If it was left to the PPM we wouldn’t have enough supplies of the treatment here for the people of the Cayman Islands. Obviously your still caught up on the UDP winning the election you can’t seem to think straight.

    I have a message for you IT’S ALL OVER, UDP WON AND YOU CAN’T DO NOTHING ABOUT!!! ha ha ha!!! Loser LMAO LMAO!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There were some Swines in Cayman before and after the Election, I am therefore not surprised to hear that we now have a few cases of the Swinee flu…..have a few more Bacardis and Coke and you will be fine you hear……….LOL!!! On a more serious note; is anybody checking the arrivals in our various Ports of entry???


  22. Anonymous says:

    It would take a PPM supporter to suggest a by-election because we have a flu. That only goes to show the calibre of the PPM membership is little different from the leadership (assuming it isnt one of their past – now unemployed – elected officials).

    Anyway, the PPM that thought the anti-viral medicine TAMIFLU was too expensive and didnt purchase any.


  23. M. Lite says:

    Now that this shocking news has come to light, I think we have no choice but to dissolve the LA and call a new election!  Obviously the UDP government knew about this and allowed the H1N1 virus to come to Cayman.  Under the previous PPM government there have been no cases of the H1N1 virus in Cayman.

    Governor Jack, you cannot stand by and ignore these facts.  You must do what is in the best interest of this country.

    • Now that this shocking News says:

      How stupid can one get? This is not something to take so lightly. But for your information this student returned to the Cayman Islands before the election hence bring the virus back from New York, so I guess we will have to say " all of PPM’s mismangement will eventually come to light and we know people like you will try to place the blame on UDP. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!!!!

    • Makam says:

      In reply to M. Lite

      Well said!

      In fact may I go further and suggest that we impose a total quarantine on the Island until the H1N1 virus has been irradicated!! No one (or thing) in or out of Grand Cayman. As there are no cases in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman they can carry out with their normal lives!

      Seriously I find the attitude of the ill informed parents here incredible. We are talking about a form of Flu not Ebola or any other form of Hemorrhagic fever! The mortality rate from Flu in modern countries (I assume we class ourselves as a modern country) is far less than smoking/ alchol related deaths (including drunk driving). This has to be one of the few countries where it is expected for the schools to close when we have heavy rains. I remeber walking to school when there was over 12inchs of snow on the ground. I also remember that if any child had Chicken Pox , Measles or other childhood illnesses they were encouraged to mix with other children so that a natural immunity would be developed by all.

      Media hype prevails again.



    • Theresa says:

      Now What does the LA have to do with Swine Flu????…. whoever you may be M. Lite get a grip and try to help a siutation instead of trying to create one. How can the UDP bring swine Flue to Cayman. I suggest you go and find something to do worthwhile. Goshhhhhh you people are so narrow minded!!! 


  24. Anonymous says:

    We need to be more worried about the people who were in contact with this child on the AIRPLANE. The small, confined aircraft for how many hours??? Now start thinking about those people, the Immigration and Customs people at the airport and whoever else any of these people have come in contact with!

    Where is TEAM CAYMAN when we need him most?????!!!!!

  25. Alan Partridge says:

    The headline should have read:

    Little girl feels a bit under the weather.

    People are getting flu all the time, this is no worse, but it seems if you name a flu after an animal people panic.   Just wait until Clam flu turns up.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I think FBCS did a good enough job of informing parents. However I think they should have told us sooner that there was a suspected case.

    I think all we can do is PRAY for the best.

    Did the parents &/or siblings of this child interact with anyone or are they in isolation too?

    That is something we need to find out.




  27. Anonymous says:

    My child was also at the Family Life Centre yesterday along with kids from First Baptist and other schools. Why were those kids allowed to attend this function if the school already new of the potential of this virus spreading and why wasn’t the school closed yesterday instead of waiting until today?

    I’m not panicking but it would seem that a more proactive approach would be welcome instead of the lacadisical one of telling us to wash our hands. Every school should be told now to implement some type of ongoing sanitation program  including making it mandatory for all kids to wash their hands on a regular basis particulalry before eating. Sanitory wipe staions like Fosters has in their store should be set up around the schools to encourage kids to be more cautious and to care for themselves. They should also make it mandatory that kids with flu like symptoms should be sent home until they are better.

    I call on the government or the head of the Health Services to at least ask the schools to be more vigilate and put proper sanitation programs in place.




  28. Nicole says:

    Boy, I tell you something!  CNS surely do stay on top of things!  No other news team can top them, how do they get the breaking news so quickly?  I dont think they sleep at all!  They make Cayman Compass and Cayman Net News look so bad, sorry to say but it’s true!   Anyway my heart and prayers go out to the family of this little girl, and hope she do recovers soon.   

  29. Caymanite says:

    FCBS has asked all parents to keep students at home regardless of whether they were in the same class.

    Parents please adhere to this, do not take your kids out and about, this is for everyones good including your own. Do not take your kids into your workplace, advise your employer of the situation, they probably already know. Stay home and keep a check on your child for developing symptoms. If symptoms do develop then take him or her directly to the hospital (call first) for testing.

    Stay safe all!

  30. Anonymous says:

     There was a large gathering of students from ALL schools all around the island yesterdayat the Family Life Center – can you imagine the implications of the virus spreading to all schools now.  It is important for the officials to track down the students who attended who might have come in contact with this poor girl who has tested positive.

    It is imperative that all schools take a proactive approach and shut down all the schools for one day to do a thorough cleaning of the entire school.

    Do not wait for the next case – this swine flu is affecting mostly children.

    If the schools do not take a proactive approach then parents will pull their kids from school.


  31. Anonymous says:

    Well let’s now see how well we can contain this. I think we all knew this was going to happen eventually. I am actually shocked it took as long as it did.


  32. Anonymous says:


  33. Anonymous says:

    Did this child attend FBCS while he or she was sick???