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Posts tagged ‘H1N1’

Protecting Yourself from H1N1

With colleges and universities across Jamaica reopening this week followed by high schools next week, the Ministry of Health urges citizens to be vigilant about their personal hygiene. As of Friday, August 28, the Ministry reports that there are 81 cases of the flu.  According to the WHO, a second wave of H1N1 is very possible and urges people to continue taking necessary precautions.

 Here are a few steps that we can take to protect ourselves.

  •  Wash hands frequently and long with soap and water(for as long as you can sing the ABC song, one site suggests)
  • Use alcohol-based sanitizers to wash hands if soap and water are not available
  • Cough into shoulders or elbows, not into your hands.
  • Keep away from crowds—sporting events, malls
  • Don’t hug people
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean public computer keyboards and musical instruments, especially pianos if played on by several people.
  • Keeps hands away from your face (eyes, nose, mouth)

 At the first sign of flu-like symptoms, people who fall into the “high risk” category should seek medical intervention as soon as possible.  These people are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Diabetics
  • Asthmatics
  • Obese people
  • People suffering from hypertension
  • Children under five years old.

 Here are a few sites that you may consult for alerts, availability of vaccines, and further tips on staying healthy:

The Ministry of Health, Kingston, Jamaica

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)

10 Things You Should Know

Start of the New School Year and H1N1

With the new school year about to begin, I’m getting increasingly worried about the Jamaican Government’s lack of preparations for the H1N1 threat.  Towards the end of last year, schools  in Manchester (a parish in Jamaica) were ordered closed by the Ministry of Education because a few students were diagnosed with the disease.

Now, we’re in the midst of a terrible drought and water is being rationed.  How are students, faculty, and staff supposed to attend to basic hygine, like washing their hands?

As an educator at the college level who also works with children, I’m worried about contracting the disease and spreading it to my family as I have family members who are considered “high risk” patients.

Cases of Swine Flu in Jamaica are currently quite low, with few deaths, but what happens when schools open once more and students are packed into classrooms?  Also, many students are returning from summer vacations in countries where the incidence of the disease is quite high. 

Where are the vaccines?  When and how does Jamaica plan on getting those vaccines?  How do I protect myself and my family?

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