Another swine flu case confirmed

There is a new case of H1N1 influenza, otherwise known as swine flu, in The Bahamas, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.

The latest case takes the count to four confirmed cases, one of which involves a child.

This comes after revelations that one person died from the illness.

Speaking to reporters outside Cabinet yesterday, Sands said, “We have had about 2,500 people take the swine flu or the flu vaccine. That said, we can confirm that there has been one more case of H1N1 influenza.

“That would now be four [cases].”

Sands could not provide information on the latest case of swine flu.

He simply noted, “This patient is in the hospital as we speak.”

The reported number of flu cases in The Bahamas ranges from 200 to 650 annually.

Flu season runs from October to May and peaks around February.

According to the Department of Public Health, there were 403 clinical cases of influenza in 2017 and four confirmed cases.

According to Sands, there were 20,000 flu shots received by the country this year, with 17,300 distributed to healthcare facilities and 2,700 stock remaining in the national supply.

Sands said his ministry will also ramp up its educational campaign to encourage vaccination.

“Again, I want to separate the discussion from swine flu; it sounds good, it sounds interesting, [but] we are talking about seasonal influenza,” he said.

“H1N1 has been tied to that term ‘swine flu’, but it doesn’t really help the public to understand.

“We are concerned [for] everybody [to] understand the significance of flu. So the fact that the H1N1 subtype is one of the types of flu doesn’t mean that the others are not serious.

“So what we’d like everybody to know is that you can protect yourself, you can protect your family, you can do it for free. Go get your immunization. Make sure you use good hygiene. Make sure you use good respiratory hygiene. And that is where the focus is.”

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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