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CARPHA issues alert ahead of flu season

By CARPHA

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PRESS RELEASE – Seasonal influenza affects many thousands of people in the Caribbean each year, and as the 2015 season approaches, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to practice good personal hygiene in order to reduce the risk of transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Executive Director, CARPHA, Dr C. James Hospedales, states that the “primary form of influenza transmission is through interpersonal contact.”

He adds that “given elevated flu activity in the United States, combined with the high travel season to the Caribbean, it is important that persons take the necessary steps now, to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu.”

CARPHA is advising that persons practice good hygiene measures, which include:

· Covering your mouth with a tissue or handkerchief, or using your elbow, when sneezing or coughing

· Safely disposing of used tissues

· Washing your hands with soap and water after coughing and sneezing and before and after meal preparation, eating and using the toilets.

However, the most effective way to prevent the disease or severe outcomes from the illness is vaccination. Safe and effective vaccines have been available and used for more than 60 years.

Among healthy adults, influenza vaccine can prevent 70% to 90% of influenza-specific illness. Among the elderly, the vaccine reduces severe illnesses and complications by up to 60%, and deaths by 80%.

Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications, and for people who live with or care for high risk individuals.

Seasonal influenza is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and runny nose.

Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. But influenza can cause severe illness or death in people at high risk.

The time from infection to illness, known as the incubation period, is about two days. Illnesses can result in hospitalizations and deaths mainly among high-risk groups (the very young, elderly or chronically ill).

Worldwide, these annual epidemics result in about three to five million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. Most deaths associated with influenza occur among people age 65 or older.

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

2 comments

  1. REMEMBER TO COVER YOUR COUGH OR SNEEZE. IF YOU HAVE TO COUGH OR SNEEZE THEN DO SO WHEN YOU'RE FAR AWAY FROM ME.

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  2. Vaccination my FOOT, what about the herbs our grand parents use to give us for the cold? STOP telling people to take these drugs that giving us all of these diseases.Nonsense....

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