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Vaccinate against swine flu – Trinidad health minister urges after three deaths reported



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(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) – Get free vaccines to protect yourself from swine flu, yesterday was the opinion of health minister Terrence Deyalsingh after he revealed that there were 1

7 cases confirmed by the influenza A laboratory (H1N1) in the last year.

"I want to invite five main categories of people, in particular to take the vaccines: health workers, pregnant women, obese / diabetic population, children and immuno-compromised patients" he said in response to the questions of the Opposition in the Chamber of yesterday's Representatives.

"Use free vaccines available in the public health system, vaccines are safe for pregnant women and their fetus," the minister said.

Three deaths have recently been reported due to swine flu, particularly in southern areas. Deyalsingh was questioned on the issue by UNC MPs Dr Lackram Bodoe and Dr Fuad Khan.

He said that in addition to the 17 H1N1 cases confirmed by the laboratory, there were also two cases of influenza AH3N2 and two cases of influenza B in the last 12 months. He said there is no evidence that no pregnant woman died of H1N1.

The day a person should undergo swine flu testing, Deyalsingh said the protocols for suspected cases are based on whether the patient has a fever above or below 38 degrees and is very ill .

"But in the public health system, we treat all cases regardless of whether the patients are suspected or confirmed or that the fever is higher or lower than 38. If you wait for a report to confirm, the person would die," He said.

Nasal swabs are used for tests.

Deyalsingh said health workers and pregnant women are very difficult to encourage to take the vaccine. [19659003] He said: "We have made a concerted effort in our prenatal clinics to advise pregnant women to accept the vaccine.Today, we have vaccinated about 2,000 pregnant women in the public health system.

" Three women who had not been vaccinated were almost dead. We had to get them over the hump in the last year using the treatment of intensive care units. Two recovered and one is currently weaned by the fan. We hope it will follow the other two in a successful recovery. "

He said that pregnant women fear that the vaccine will cause birth defects.

" For all pregnant women, the vaccine is safe for you and your fetus at any time! ", he warned.

The minister pointed out that the vaccines are free at public health institutions.The Ministry of Health bought 75,000 vaccines and distributed about 17,000, with another 25,000 ordained.

Deyalsingh added that there are enough Tamiflu tablets in the public health system to handle the situation and keep stocks tightly in. If more is needed, it will be available within 24-48 hours from the PAHO headquarters in Panama.

He said not to be aware of any evidence that Tamiflu causes congenital malformations

"We offer Tamiflu tablets to all pregnant women who have treated the three I mentioned before they received Tamiflu or other antiviral drugs", said the minister [19659018] ( 0 ) ( 0 )

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