BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The health authorities of Barbados badure the public that there have been no cases of HINI virus despite a neighbour Caribbean island reporting three deaths from the virus recently.
"There has not been an increase in cases of respiratory diseases due to influenza viruses in Barbados above what is normally expected at this time of year," said Dr. Leslie Rollock, Senior Medical Officer of Health.
He said that Barbados registered six cases of H1N1 last year, but that there were no deaths badociated with the disease.
Earlier this month, Trinidad and Tobago recorded three deaths attributed to the virus, commonly known as swine flu.
Rollock said the Influenza A H1N1 virus, along with other influenza viruses such as Influenza A H3N2, has been circulating in the Caribbean since 2009.
She said that unless the virus mutates in a way that causes more serious illness, it generally does not pose a greater risk to healthy people.
People at increased risk include children and people over 65, as well as people with asthma or other lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease, severe obesity, kidney disease or other conditions that could interfere with immune function.
Rollock noted that while reported cases of respiratory illnesses had not reached the national alert level this flu season, it was important that people continue to practice good hygiene, which was the most effective way to reduce the transmission of viruses.