Flu clinic closes

Health officials have closed the
flu clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital as the number of influenza cases
being reported has dropped to pre-H1N1 pandemic levels.

The drop in the number of cases in
the Western hemisphere has been steadily declining, indicating the pandemic may
have passed.

But the Cayman Islands Health
Services Authority warned people to remain vigilant as data from the World
Health Organisation indicated continued transmission elsewhere and urged
residents of Cayman to get vaccinated, practice good hygiene and distance
themselves from people if they have the flu.

Since 21 January, the vaccine has
been available at Health Services Authority facilities, certain public venues
and private physicians’ offices. Although the flu clinic is closed, the H1N1
swine flu vaccine will remain available at public medical facilities and some
private doctors’ offices.

At an emergency meeting on 23
February, the WHO determined there had been no change in the pandemic phase. It
will convene again within the next several weeks to review the global

Since the start of the pandemic,
129 cases of the H1N1 virus were confirmed in the Cayman Islands. The last
confirmed case was reported on January 11.

A statement from the Health Services
Authority in Cayman on Friday said: “Our surveillance data of persons visiting
HSA facilities indicate that flu-like illness cases during the past four weeks
are largely the same as before the pandemic, with approximately 80-100 persons
being seen weekly with flu-like symptoms. Most of the cases were mild and many
persons were without fever.

“As a result, the designated flu
clinic which was set up for H1N1 cases will be closed, effective 1 March.”

However, priority will continue to
be given to patients with flu-like symptoms at the General Practice clinic,
district health centers, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and the Accident and
Emergency Unit of the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Patients are advised to report to
the registration officer or nurse regarding their flu-like symptoms in order to
receive priority care. 

For more information on H1N1 visit www.CaymanPrepared.ky or www.hsa.ky. The Health Services Authority also
offers the public direct responses to their flu queries through its flu email
and message system – [email protected]. This complements
the 24-hour flu hotline on 926-2812 manned by HSA staff.