Sharp rise in H1N1 cases in Cayman

| 09/07/2009

(CNS): The local H1N1 countis up to 33 after CAREC confirmed 11 more cases since the beginning of the week. However, Health Minister Mark Scotland said his ministry is closely monitoring the situation and the H1N1 flu strain currently in Cayman is not a serious threat. According to a WHO update, new guidelines will soon be released advising countries with confirmed H1N1 cases to cut back on testing all suspected cases and move toward larger surveillance indicators, such as influenza-like illnesses or pneumonia hospitalizations.

“I am confident that these figures reflect the accessibility of our health care system as well as the robust surveillance system that is in place,” Scotland said. “However, to make sure that we are doing all we can, Cayman is hosting a meeting today with our regional Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) representative Dr. Ernest Pate. As part of PAHO’s ongoing support and technical assistance, Dr Pate will meet with public health officials and hospital staff to review our response to the current flu pandemic.”

The Minister of Health continued, “I have further confirmed with public health officials that they will continue to follow the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s guidelines in formulating our response strategy.”

Minister Scotland gave the assurance that any change in the local response will be communicated to the public as soon as possible. “Our health services are ready to respond, in the event that the nature of this flu strain should change. For now, the strongest message remains: When you are sick, stay at home,” he concluded.

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