Commissioner of Public Health Maria Buncamper-Molanus says she is in full agreement with United Nations (UN) General Secretary Ban Ki-moon that countries around the world must continue to be vigilant and prepared as the outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) Virus also known as Swine Flu continues to evolve.
There is still not much that is known about this new strain and the dangers it poses. As of Monday more than 1080 cases have been reported in 21 countries.
Preparations on the island to deal with any outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) Virus is continuing with an intensified media campaign to get underway this week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to maintain a pandemic alert phase 5 level which means the virus is spreading from human to human in communities with outbreaks.
The WHO also reported on Monday that it has no plans to raise the global alert level to Phase 6 at this time.
Residents are being advised to continue to maintain high standards of hygiene in order to avoid getting the flu virus. At this moment, there are no cases of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus on the island.
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health: 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. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid contact with sick people.
The symptoms of Influenza A (H1N1) flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with the virus.
Persons who have flu-like-illness should remain at home and contact their family physician via telephone who will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. For people developing symptoms following international travel should follow the same procedure. People who are ill are recommended to postpone travel.
Most cases of influenza A (H1N1) so far reported around the world appear to be mild. There is currently no vaccine for the new strain of flu but severe cases can be treated with antiviral medication.
The Preventive Health Department has intensified surveillance for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.
Persons seeking additional information should contact Sector Public Health at telephone numbers: 542-3003 or 542-3553 or visit the following websites: www.cdc.gov/swineflu or www.who.int. for more information on Influenza A(H1N1) virus also referred to as swine flu