Barbados assures no reported case of HINI virus
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados health authorities are assuring the public that there have been no cases of the HINI virus despite a neighbouring Caribbean island reporting three deaths from the virus recently.
“There has been no increase in cases of respiratory illnesses due to influenza viruses in Barbados above what is normally expected at this time of the year,” said Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr Leslie Rollock.
She said Barbados recorded six cases of H1N1 last year but no deaths were associated with the illness
Earlier this month, Trinidad and Tobago recorded three deaths attributed to the virus, commonly known as swine flu.
Rollock said the Influenza A H1N1 virus, along with other influenza viruses such as Influenza A H3N2, has been circulating in the Caribbean since 2009.
She said that unless the virus mutated into a form that caused more severe disease, it generally posed no increased risk to otherwise healthy people.
People most at risk include children and persons over 65, as well as those with asthma or other lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, severe obesity, kidney disease or other conditions that could interfere with immune function.
Rollock noted that while reported cases of respiratory illnesses had not reached the national alert level this flu season, it was important for persons to continue to practice good hygiene, which was the most effective way of reducing the transmission of viruses.