Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Virus Alert

Workers at the Corozal Free Zone wear protective masks and Medical personnel in Mexico pass out information on the Swine Flu Virus.

Much concern has been placed on the over 800 cases of severe acute respiratory illness, including approximately 60 deaths reported from Mexico. The unique Swine Flu Virus has been attributed to all these deaths and sick people. Countries around the world will be asked to step up reporting and surveillance of the disease, which she said had "pandemic potential" because it is an animal virus strain infecting people.
Symptoms of human swine influenza are similar to those of regular or seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Persons with swine influenza may also have runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
At the Belize/Mexico border employees have been issued to wear gloves and face masks for their own protections and word from nearby border city of Chetumal is that residents are wearing masks out in public. Cases of the swine flu viral infections have been confirmed in Merida and Cancun, but not in Chetumal as yet. People are asked to be extremely careful when travelling to Mexico.

The following hygienic measures are recommended:
* Frequent hand washing with soap and water, especially after sneezing or coughing.
* Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, preferably with a tissue that is immediately disposed of following use.
* Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth as this spreads germs.
* Avoid close contact with sick persons
* Persons who have recently travelled to affected areas are asked to consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms.

Suspected cases of swine influenza in persons returning from Mexico have also been reported in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France. Confirmed cases of a new strain of human swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified in Mexico (three areas, Districto Federal, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi); in the United States (California, Texas, Kansas, New York, Ohio) and Canada (Nova Scotia). There have been no reported cases of human swine influenza or suspected human swine influenza in any Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) member countries.

No comments: