Cases of respiratory illnesses on the rise

Many Barbadians who thought they had the flu last month actually suffered from respiratory illnesses, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a statement released today through the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), the ministry said there was in increase in the number of cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – a virus that causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract –  in November 2016 compared to November last year. It provided no figures.

“For the subset of cases tested, the causative organism was not the flu virus but mostly respiratory syncytial virus,” the release said.

However, it cautioned residents to guard against the flu virus, saying the Pan American Health Organisation had advised of a rise in the incidence of seasonal flu in North America and “sporadic cases are also being seen in neighbouring islands”.

In this regard the ministry is reminding Barbadians to continue to practise good hygiene “as this is the most effective way of reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses”.

“These practices include washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them with disposable tissue. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended,” the statement said.

“Health officials also advised persons to keep unwashed hands away from the eyes, nose and mouth; and to generally avoid touching these areas as germs can enter the body this way,” it added.           

The statement also included a number of precautionary measures that residents should take to avoid contracting or spreading the flu, including covering their noses and mouths with tissue when coughing or sneezing, or coughing or sneezing into the inner sides of their elbows.

In addition, it advised people at risk for severe illnesses from the seasonal flu virus, including those with asthma, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, to discuss possible vaccination with their doctors.

Source: (BGIS)

5 Responses to Cases of respiratory illnesses on the rise

  1. Jennifer December 17, 2016 at 6:14 am

    It would have been good if the article had said how many deaths occurred from people receiving the vaccine too as some of these vaccines are killing a lot of people. If nothing can be done for the virus (which is highly likely), sick people should stay home from work, school, etc and most off all the hospital and heavily populated areas so that they do not to make other persons ill.

  2. Gail Agard Wallace
    Gail Agard Wallace December 17, 2016 at 10:00 am

    QEH can start by keeping hand sanitizer in the pumps on the walls if you must go there. But , it’s up to the individual to keep hands washed and practice good hygiene jus as the article says.

  3. La Flor Linda
    La Flor Linda December 17, 2016 at 10:30 am

    The goverment spent all its money celebrating 50 The anniversary and now there is not noney for medication.

  4. Eleanor December 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I enjoyed 10 day of beauty and sun and of and on rain in Barbados, did not get sick until my return. This upper respiratory problem is not only in B’dos it is also here in the US and it takes a toll on your chest from coughing but did not stop me from working. continue to wash in and wash out.

  5. Bajan December 18, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Nah doh. Something else going on. People just fainting out of the blue and some of them have no cold or flu. They just fainting and the doctors cant identify a cause. So come again Government. What really happening?


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