Flu outbreak warning

Like the United States, the Cayman Islands is experiencing
increased cases of influenza, the Public Health Department has confirmed.

In a notice alerting the public to an increase in cases of
seasonal flu Thursday morning, Medical Officer of Health Kiran Kumar reported
that during the last week of December 2012, cases of flu-like illness reported
to Public Health reached 148, while in the first week of January, there were
155 cases.

“Similar numbers were reported for the same period in the
2009 pandemic, with the number of cases reaching 160-170 per week,” Dr. Kumar
said. 

In the 2009 influenza season, 7,217 flu cases were reported.
Up to the end of December 2012, there had been 4,771 cases in Cayman.

The Cayman Islands’ flu season usually runs from October to
March, with its peak being experienced in December and January.

According to Dr. Kumar, up to mid-December, the 2012 season
had been very mild compared to 2011, with an average of 80-90 cases reported
per week, but the number of cases have jumped in recent weeks.

In the 2011 season, 4,680 cases were reported.

“In an average year, 40 cases are reported per week during
the summer, and about 80-90 cases per week during the flu season, with cases
rising to more than 100 per week during the months of December and January,”
Dr. Kumar said.

 

 

 

US outbreak 

United States health authorities have reported that the flu
season arrived about a month earlier than usual.

In Boston, flu cases were up tenfold from last year, leading
the city’s mayor to declare a public health emergency Wednesday.

The flu strain making most people sick in the US is H3N2,
which has a reputation for causing quite severe illness, especially in the
elderly.

In the US, the flu season typically starts in December,
builds to a peak in January or February and drops off by late March or early
April.

 

 

Preventative measures 

Dr. Kumar advised people in Cayman to follow these everyday
measures can help to prevent illness:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or
sneeze (throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.)

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after
you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand
rub may be used.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Otherwise, germs
may spread.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you are sick, stay home from work or school until your
illness is over.

Anyone aged six months or older should get the flu vaccine,
Dr. Kumar said, adding that it is especially important for people at high risk
for complications from influenza, and those who live with or care for them, to
be vaccinated early each year.

High-risk people include those aged six months to four years
of age, but especially those under two years; pregnant women; people 50 years
of age and older; those of any age with weakened immune systems and those with
chronic medical conditions such as heart, kidney and lung diseases and
diabetes; and people living in nursing homes and other long-term care
facilities.

Anyone who has not received a flu vaccine is urged to get a
flu shot as soon as possible, as it will still help for the rest of the season.
The vaccine is only effective for one season.

Dr Kumar emphasised that the World Health Organisation is
strongly recommending for all pregnant women be vaccinated. The flu vaccine is
being offered for free to all residents and no appointments are necessary.

Flu shots can be acquired at the following locations:

The General Practice Clinic at the Cayman Islands Hospital,
Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and all District Health Centres, from 2pm to 4pm
Monday through Friday.

Little Cayman Clinic. Residents of Little Cayman should
contact the clinic to make arrangements.

 

flu-shot

Public health officials are urging people to avail of free flu shots. – PHOTO: FILE
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3 COMMENTS

  1. The verdict is out on flu shots. Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this verdict:

    1.) There is a total lack of real evidence that young children even benefit from flu shots. A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. Also the shots are only able to protect against certain strains of the virus, which means that if you come into contact with a different strain of virus you will still get the flu.

    2.) Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injecting vaccines can actually lead to serious health problems including harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections. This further increases the body’s susceptibility to the diseases that the vaccine was supposed to protect against.

    3.) Ever noticed how vaccinated children within days or few weeks develop runny noses, pneumonia, ear infections and bronchiolitis? The reason is the flu virus introduced in their bodies which creates these symptoms. It also indicates immuno-suppression i.e. lowering of the immunity. The flu vaccines actually do not immunize but sensitize the body against the virus.

    4.) Its a known fact that Flu vaccines contain strains of the flu virus along with other ingredients. Now think about the impact such a vaccine can have over someone with a suppressed immune system? If you have a disease that is already lowering your body’s ability to fight a virus, taking the flu shot will put your body in danger of getting the full effects of the flu and make you more susceptible to pneumonia and other contagious diseases.

    5.) The Flu vaccines contain mercury, a heavy metal known to be hazardous for human health. The amount of mercury contained in a multi-dose flu shot is much higher than the maximum allowable daily exposure limit. Mercury toxicity can cause memory loss, depression, ADD, oral health problems, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and many more such serious health ailments.

    And what about the elderly? Can the flu vaccine help them?

    6.) There is mounting evidence that flu shots can cause Alzheimer’s disease. One report shows that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had a 10-fold greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not have any flu shots. Also with age the immune system weakens, thus lowering your ability to fight off infections. Introducing the flu virus in the bodies of elderly could have dangerous consequences.

    Can we trust the authorities who are promoting the wide-spread use of flu vaccines?

    7.) The Center for Disease Control appoints a 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This committee is responsible for deciding who should be vaccinated each year. Almost all the ACIP have a financial interest in immunizations. It’s all about the money and may have very little to do with your health and well being. The very people pushing these vaccines stand to make billions of dollars. This itself creates a doubt on how effective these flu vaccines really are?

    8.) Research shows that over-use of the flu-vaccine and drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can actually alter flu viruses and cause them to mutate into a more deadly strain. Couple this with drug resistant strains and you have virtually no benefits with much risk.

    9.) There is enough evidence that shows that the ingredients present in the flu vaccinations can actually cause serious neurological disorders. In the 1976 swine flu outbreak, many who got the flu shots developed permanent nerve damage. Flu vaccines can contain many harmful materials including detergent, mercury, formaldehyde, and strains of live flu virus. Is this what you want to put in YOUR body?

    10.) Trying to guess what strain to vaccinate against each season has proved to be no more effective than a guessing game. This has been very true in recent years with the H1N1 strain. Moreover getting multi-shots will only prove more dangerous as different strains of viruses and harmful ingredients are introduced into your body.

    Flu shots are indeed more dangerous than you could think, and it is best to rely on natural ways to protect against the flu rather than getting yourself vaccinated.

    Isn’t it interesting that the main stream public health officials never promote the various proven ways to avoid the flu other than through vaccination? How about spending some of the billions of advertising dollars teaching us natural ways to boost our immune systems and avoid the flu without harmful and sometimes deadly vaccinations.

    Source: http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/10-reasons-flu-shots-dangerous-flu/

    All I am saying is that there is more than one side to any story and just because someone who stands to make money recommends a vaccination, that is NOT a valid reason to get it done. This fearmongering, heavy handed, chicken-little, sky falling thuggery from the government needs to stop. Contrary to the recent campaign in Jamaica, vaccination is NOT an act of love.

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  2. I’ll be as concise as possible.

    1. I am an MD.

    2. Flu vaccine works all over the world, and works wonderfully.

    3. Flu is a disease that, in the best possible case, impairs for days the ability to work and perform. If unlucky, it can get complicated with pneumonia and other life-threatening conditions.

    3. People who want to know more about the reality of the flu vaccine, should refer to sound sources as these three:

    World Health Organisation
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/

    Health Protection Agency (UK)
    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebHPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1195733756886

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

    4. All vaccines carry risks, yet few vaccines carry just minor risks and few adverse effects as the flu vaccine.

    5. Please rely your decision-making process on valid and validated information that can be traced back to a sound source with competence in the issue.

    Finally, I just went less than an hour ago to get my yearly vaccine. My mistake, as I usually get it in November-December.

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  3. As an MD, then you would be very well acquainted with the financial benefits that are available to those who are pushing these vaccines, tranquilizers, beta-blockers, diabetes control, blood pressure control etc. Yet the last thing that is promoted is a healthy lifestyle, certain types of food and regular exercise. Finally, I would like to add that health workers all over the USA have been fired for refusing this flu shot. Are they all wrong too? I am sure some of them have credentials as impressive as yours, sir.

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