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Statement from Ministry of Health Confirming Investigation of Deaths in Adult Males

The Ministry of Health and Wellness confirms that we are investigating a few deaths in adult males, which have occurred during the month of March 2019.

Though a respiratory cause is suspected, vector-borne diseases and other infectious diseases cannot yet be ruled out, as laboratory and other tests are still being processed.

We have also been in contact with the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Public Health Agency, regarding this situation.

At this point, we wish to remind persons that we are still experiencing increased Flu activity, an unusual pattern for this time of year. Persons with underlying medical conditions, the very young and the elderly, as well as pregnant women, are at increased risk of developing severe complications, and in some cases death, from Flu infection.

The Flu vaccine is available, free of charge, at all Wellness Centers and can assist in protecting persons from developing severe complications. The medication ‘Tamiflu’ and other treatments are also available at our health facilities. Frequent hand washing and cough etiquette should also be practised.

Vector-borne diseases such as Dengue, Leptospirosis and other infectious diseases are also being monitored. The Caribbean has been placed on a Dengue alert and we continue to monitor, as Dengue, in its severe form, can cause bleeding and death. Persons are reminded that all potential breeding sites for mosquitoes should be addressed and measures are taken to prevent mosquito bites.

Persons should monitor themselves and their families. Anyone with worsening symptoms of fever, headache, joint and muscle pains, cough, shortness of breath, generalized weakness, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, or other condition, should be taken to a health facility promptly for treatment.

Males are especially being advised to seek care early, and not wait for worsening symptoms.

The Ministry will provide additional updates as soon as they become available.

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