HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday confirmed that a new case of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, has been documented locally.
The case is the third diagnosis since the onset of the 2018-2019 influenza season, one of which resulted in death.
Addressing the new case yesterday, Dr Sands said practitioners across the country remain on high alert, given the common belief among Bahamians that any case of the influenza, despite its severity, can be adequately treated at home.
Dr Sands again used the opportunity to issue a plea for Bahamians to take advantage of free vaccines available at all public health facilities in the country.
According to the Elizabeth MP, there are approximately “19,000 doses available cost-free”.
The United States-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has maintained that an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza and its potentially serious complications.
The organisation recommends that everyone six-months and older be vaccinated.
Last week, Dr Sands strongly urged people, especially those in the high-risk category to get the shot.
“The symptoms can sneak up on you, interestingly some of the people that succumb from the swine flu can be younger, stronger individuals,” he said.
Those in this category are health care workers, day care providers and school teachers, children between six months and five years old, the elderly, persons with chronic, non-communicable diseases, women who will be pregnant during flu season and obese persons.
Last year, the US estimated that more than 80,000 died of flu and its complications.