T&T On Alert After 3 Swine Flu Deaths

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The  Trinidad and Tobago Health Min­istry is on high alert for cas­es of Swine Flu fol­low­ing the death of a third pa­tient from the dead­ly virus, the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian has been reported.

A state­ment from the South-West Re­gion­al Health Au­thor­i­ty in re­sponse to the Guardian’s re­port on the death of a Tabaquite woman said “prop­er med­ical pro­ce­dures were fol­lowed” at the San Fer­nan­do Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal in treat­ing Nicole Seecha­ran.

“The SWRHA con­tin­ues to be on height­ened alert and sur­veil­lance for swine flu cas­es and has co­or­di­nat­ed all its fa­cil­i­ties to be ful­ly pre­pared for any fur­ther pres­ence of the dis­ease in the South-West Re­gion,” the  Guardian quoted the state­ment as saying.

The nnewspaper said that in a tele­phone in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Min­is­ter of Health Ter­rence Deyals­ingh said, “I’ve been mak­ing this call since No­vem­ber last year. I my­self took the in­fluen­za vac­cine to show how im­por­tant it is to get in­oc­u­lat­ed. The flu is not to be tak­ing light­ly, it is a dead­ly virus.”

In 2018, there were two in­fluen­za-re­lat­ed deaths for flu sea­son, Deyals­ingh con­firmed: “and that was de­spite an ag­gres­sive vac­ci­na­tion pro­gramme by the Min­istry of Health.”

In prepa­ra­tion for the 2019 flu sea­son, the Health Min­istry brought in 75,000 dos­es of the in­fluen­za vac­cine, which can be re­quest­ed at health cen­tres free of charge, the Guardian reported.

“Some cit­i­zens have not been lis­ten­ing to my calls. Un­less there is an emer­gency we do not act. You can on­ly safe­guard your health by get­ting the flu vac­ci­na­tion shot,” Deyals­ingh was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

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