PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Ministry of Health has received information from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) laboratory of six confirmed local cases of the H1N1 or Swine Flu.
“In light of these new confirmations, locally, along with increased influenza activity in the Caribbean region at this time, the Ministry wishes to assure the public that all systems for response to influenza cases are in place at our local institutions and advise that citizens follow the instructions given to them by medical professionals” said the Ministry of Health in a release late Wednesday.
Health Minister, Dr. Fuad Khan has called on residents not to panic in the wake of the report.
“Now in order to decrease the level of panic that may set into this country as we see there are various headlines on it, I want to assure the public that this H1N1 is called Swine Flu, not Bird Flu. H1Ni has been around in Trinidad and Tobago since 2009 . We have been having cases since 2009 so this is nothing new that is occurring at this time. I do believe what would have triggered the fear and concern was the neighbouring countries. Barbados has had I think on death as a result of H1N1” he said.
He said of the confirmed cases, three patients are from the San Fernando General Hospital, one from Mt. Hope Hospital while it is not known what areas the others are from.
The Ministry of Health has reminded the public to practice good personal hygiene and to protect themselves and others from acquiring the virus.