Fewer contract flu this season


The 2010 flu season has been a far less active one so far
than the previous year’s H1N1 swine flu season.

By Christmas Day, the public health unit’s monitoring
system had recorded 417 cases of flu, according to Dr. Kiran Kumar, medical
officer of health at the Health Services Authority. This compares to 1,029
influenza cases reported throughout the month of December 2009.

“The test results so far confirms seven seasonal
influenza cases and none of the H1N1”, Dr. Kumar said.

“This season, we have had no critical cases of influenza,
although some people are facing severe symptoms,” he added.

The reported figures relate to those who have sought
medical assistance for flu.

In the US and UK, there have been sharp increase in the
number of people contracting flu, including H1N1.

Cayman took delivery of 4,000 flu vaccinations in
November. These vaccinations protect against seasonal flu, including the H1N1

The Health Services Authority is offering free flu
vaccines to the public and has about 2,000 doses of the vaccine still
available. So far in this flu season, about 2,000 people have been vaccinated
already against the flu.

Dr. Kumar pointed out that people should get vaccinated
against the flu because there are several months left in the flu season.

“As the United Kingdom and the United States flu season
runs up to March/April, and as we have close contact/travel to these countries,
it is good to be protected should we face an epidemic,” he said.

Dr. Kumar said that since the uptake for flu vaccines
this season has been lower compared to last year, he is requesting 2,000 doses
for next year’s flu season.

Free flu vaccines are available any time during office
hours at district health centres, the General Practice Clinic and Specialist
Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital, the Public Health Clinic at Faith
Hospital or Little Cayman Clinic.

Companies can also schedule on-site workplace
vaccinations with 20 or more employees who want to be vaccinated.

Companies can fax the names of people wishing to have the
vaccine to the Public Health Department at 945-2153, attention Sarah Hetley.
For further information, contact her at the Public Health Clinic on 244-2648.