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Students, teachers with flu-like symptoms told stay home

Monday, January 4 2016

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is advising parents whose children have a cold or is in any discomfort to keep them at home for the new school term which opens today.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia made the announcement at a press conference at the Education Ministry’s head office, Alexandra Street, Port-of-Spain last week.

Garcia said, “When school reopens, he (the Minister of Health, Terrance Deyalsingh) is asking parents whose children are affected by any cold or discomfort that they should keep their children home for the time being.

This is one of the measures the Ministry of Health has taken to ensure that there is no spread of the swine flu.” This comes in the wake of increased cases of the virus in the country. There have been 29 confirmed cases of the virus and four deaths.

Asked whether this also applied to teachers, Garcia said yes.

On December 18, Health Minister Deyalsingh confirmed the 29 cases as well as the three deaths. The number of deaths from the virus also known as the H1N1 Influenza Virus climbed when it was confirmed that Anastasia Ramkissoon, died at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (Mt Hope) after developing flu-like symptoms during her pregnancy.

Deyalsingh then advised that the swine flu vaccine was available at the nation’s health facilities and saw an increase in the number of people seeking to get the vaccine. It was reported on December 31 that yet another swine flu patient was in critical condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Neighbouring Caribbean islands such as Grenada are on alert given the rise in the number of cases in TT.

In 2009, there was a swine flu pandemic which claimed the lives of approximately 284,500 people, according to the World Health Organisation. It was said that the majority of these deaths occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia.



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