The Ministry of Health is informing the Public of an outbreak of Acute Respiratory Infections (Flu) in Dominica at this time. To this date, the Ministry confirms there are 3 different types of virus in circulation. They are the Parainfluenza type 2 virus, the Rhino virus and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Some persons are showing symptoms of the mild flu, while others show severe flu-like forms:
Symptoms of Mild Flu include Coughing, running nose, Headache, Low grade fever, Loss of appetite, feeling tired. Symptoms of Severe Flu, are Productive coughing, High fever, Body chills, Difficulty breathing, and Generalized body pain Chest pain The Ministry advises the public to remain alert and protect themselves from getting the flu. Things you can do to protect yourself and others from getting the Flu are:
• Wash your hands with soap and water more now than usual;
• If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizers and rub your hands together very hard for a minute of more;
• Avoid shaking hands and kissing;
• Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing;
• Cover your nose with tissue when sneezing;
• Throw away soiled tissue in a garbage bin after single use;
• Avoid touching your face if your hands are dirty, because cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth;
• If you are sick, stay away from crowds, young children and very elderly persons
• Drink a lot of fluids: Juice, water, coconut water and soups;
In order to control the spread of this flu, everyone must take the necessary steps to protect his/herself, your families and the public. Persons with the severe symptoms of the Flu are asked to visit their Health Centre or doctor.
Children under 5, and persons suffering from Diabetes, Heart Problems, Asthma, HIV/AIDS & Cancer, or taking Steroid Medications, are at risk of developing complications from the flu, and should contact their health care provider as soon as possible, if they become ill with the flu. The Ministry is advising the public that the FLU vaccine is available at all health facilities for people most at risk for developing complications to the flu. This vaccine when taken will prevent people from becoming ill with the flu.
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