Sunday, February 25, 2018

Swine flu vaccines arrive

VACCINES against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, commonly known as “swine flu”, were received last Friday night at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH). 

Medical director of the SFGH Dr Anand Chattergoon said yesterday that the vaccines were sent from the National Insurance Property Development Company Ltd warehouse C40 at Chaguaramas. 

Chattergoon said the vaccines will be distributed to H1N1 patients as well as “people who are at risk” such as doctors, nurses and others who interact with patients. 

“I don’t think there is any need to panic,” said Chattergoon. “Everything is under control.”

Yesterday, the isolation tent remained outside the A&E department of the SFGH where screening for the H1N1 virus is being conducted. 

The measure was put in place after the hospital confirmed three Influenza A (H1N1) cases. 

One of the three patients has died, and the Express was told and several other patients with swine flu symptoms are being treated. 

South-West regional Health Authority director of Health Dr Shivanand Gopeesingh said last Friday that in recent days there was an increase in the number of people coming to hospital for treatment for viral illnesses, but not all the cases were severe and not all were symptomatic of the influenza H1N1 virus. Chattergoon said patients who went for screening are monitored for the symptoms of “swine flu” for almost a week. 

“The symptoms may take about a week and we monitor the patients during that time. We do not have a special ward as yet for H1N1 patients; the symptoms are so similar to an ordinary cold or virus. But we do have a designated area to perform the screening,” he said. 

He said more vaccines would be sent from the Ministry of Health. 

“We will order them as we need them,” said Chattergoon.