Second case of flu confirmed

| 06/06/2009

(CNS): Cayman now has its second case of the novel H1N1 flu, formerly known as swine flu. Public health officials said this was unrelated to the first confirmed case of the First Baptist Christian School student but was another imported case from the US. However, several people have tested positive for Influenza A at Friday’s Public Health screening at FBC School. CAREC testing, which will classify these cases as the typical seasonal flu or the novel H1N1, will be available in a few days. Health Services Authority Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeksema (left) has said that the H1N1 flu is no worse than normal the seasonal flu.

GIS said that the second patient with H1N1 is recovering well on home isolation but with this newly confirmed case, and the presence of more positive screening tests for influenza there are very likely to more novel H1N1 flu case confirmed in the Cayman Islands.

"Fortunately, this flu is not much different from the typical seasonal flu and allows us to react in much the same way as we would with the seasonal flu. Our number one recommendation is, if you feel sick, stay at home," said Health Services Authority Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeksema.

First Baptist School has been given permission to open on Monday after a one day closure to facilitate the public health investigation. "Based on the results of the investigation and following World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, we will no longer be asking schools to close," the doctor added. The Public Health Department and HSA will, however, continue their surveillance of novel H1N1 to establish its prevalence and level of activity, he said.

Minister of Health, Mark Scotland, has called on employers to help out. "This is a national health issue and we ask businesses to facilitate the call for home isolation. It is a public health directive and employers must support employees who have to stay home when they are sick or to care for a sick child. This will help to minimize the spread of the flu virus and is in the best interest of the health of the nation."

Dr Hoeksema said that H1N1 flu virus has proven to be no worse than the seasonal flu so the emphasis was on home isolation, social distancing and personal hygiene. He explained that home isolation means that people with flu-like symptoms must stay at home and limit contact with family and friends. "Don’t run errands or do your shopping – stay at home," he added. People with the flu should stay at home for at least seven days or until their symptoms have gone completely, whichever is longer.

The doctor said that not everyone with flu symptoms will be treated with Tamiflu. "Most of the patients worldwide have recovered without Tamiflu. We will follow international guidelines and use Tamiflu to treat severely ill patients and high risk patients."

These include serious chronic medical illnesses like heart disease, lung problems, or cancer. Also, pregnancy places patients at higher risk of complications from the flu and therefore would recommended for treatment with Tamiflu.

People with questions can call the HSA/Public Health hotline at 926-2812 or log onto our website at for more information.

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  1. Bart Marley says:

    De Rasta dem been tryin to warn ya gainst dem pig for years, but ya tun dem back at the aerport and ya kick dem pickney outa de scool dem. Now dem dutty swine a come back fa get you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth would Cayman go against the recommendations of the W.H.O and C.D.C.?  Irresponsible and quite unbelieveable!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s all the fault of what Ezzard calls "furriners". Born Caymanians would never cause this problem. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    This could not be a worse time for us to have such a noticeably inexperienced minister of health along with the apparent removal of the experienced chief officer in this ministry as part of the UDP "re-shuffle".  But as Ezzard said on rooster, mark wasn’t the first choice for minister anyway.  Sorry Mark, but Mac set you up for this one.  Let’s hope that there is not further damage to the economy from a percieved lack of leadership in dealing with this issue,

    • Anonymous says:

      What a piece of bovine excrement you have written.

      What has the inexperience of a Minister has to do with this?We have capable people at the HSA that can provide the necessary guidance.

      Everything always has to be political with you lot!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The government is proposing to only give antivirals to the high risk groups mentioned above.  I have reviewed cdc recommendations and the FIRST high risk group that this specifies is CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 5 YEARS OLD.

    The HSA are choosing to ignore this high risk group.   I would suggest because they have limited supplies of paediatric tamiflu for this highly vulnerable school population.  Think of all those tiny babies at Wee Care (First Baptist) …..  that are still being exposed whilst the school remains open and have not been named a high risk population for antiviral treatment.

    I think parents should be aware of this discrepancy between cdc guidance and above mentioned government proposals.


  5. Anonymous says:
    Oh yes i see they had a serious gunfight last night in The resort town of Acapulco killing at least 15 persons sounds like that cheap package could work Be real! I guess if the swine flu don’t get you the bullets surely will see u in Mexico Mi Bye
  6. Be real! says:

    The 0911 poster lives in cloud-cuckoo land.  In the last month I have been to New York, Miami and London and have done nothing wrong.  Given how many people comes here every week by plane or by cruise ship from these areas there is no problem for residents to visit these areas.  In fact you can get really good holiday deals in Mexico right now.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Like someone said previously very very inconsiderate people who travel to places where they know they have outbreaks and bring it back and expose other people to this Flu. These matters should be investigated rigourously as it is a criminal offence to negligently spread an infectious disease.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like someone said previously

      Aaaaahh say what?

      Look I don’t like this as much as the next guy but unless this was a fatal sickness capable of killing lots of people I think we don’t need to shut the world down. What if that person went there for medical reasons? Yeah let’s send them to the gas chamber right?

      This is over reaction. Lte’s just locate isolate and cure and move on.

      There is NO WAY for us to stop this getting into Cayman. None. We are a Tourist destination. We have people doing business away. It’s just the law of averages and numbers sooner or later it’s gonna get here and it will be hard to stop from spreading because by the time it is noticed that person already gave it to 2 to 5 people.

      So let’s let the big dogs actually do some work.


  8. Anonymous says:

    I am not a doctor but  understand that for Tamiflu to be effective it must be taken within48 hours of onset of symtoms to be effective – so it would need to be prescribed as soon as you know it is influenza A – before waiting 4 days to get confirmation of strain from Trinidad. Further, I thought the whole problem with this flu is that it can strike young healthy people badly, just like, although not nearly as badly, as the 1919 Spanish flu – so why are you waiting t o prescribe Tamiflu to persons who have tested positive for influenza A – is it that you do not have enough? If the UK can decide to close Eton School because of 4 cases… how does Cayman know so much better?


    The evidence is clear that this is worse than normal seasonal flu – perhaps not by orders of magnitude, but it does present new problems.


    If any of those screened at First Baptist who have type A turn out to be infected with swine flu we may look a little silly as there will be confirmed on island transmission in a school which you have just reopened. With our small population even 10 infections would be a very high prevelance in Cayman compared to other countries. Bye bye tourism.


    I mean no disrespect and may be wrong but the public deserves clear and unequivocal answers to these questions. CNS – please investigate. I will not feel slighted if you do not publish this. Just please find out and report – I would like a second opinion.  We should not run the world based on what Sanjay Gupta says on CNN – but if we are doing something different, please explain why.