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Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 110, with 2 deaths

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  • Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 110, with 2 deaths

    Edit: in Dutch


    Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 67, with one death

    Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 E

    By Ivan Cairo
    Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent

    PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Since the first eleven confirmed cases of the A-H1N1 influenza virus, commonly known as swine flu, were reported in June, the number of people in Suriname infected with the disease has reached 67. In an update report the Ministry of Health on Monday noted that from a batch of 50 swabs of patients with flu-like symptoms sent to the Netherlands for testing last week, 25 came back positive resulting in a total of 67 confirmed cases since the outbreak of the virus.

    While swabs of suspected cases until last week were being sent for testing to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (Carec) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Pasteur Institute in neighboring French-Guiana, due to a work overload at these laboratories only six samples could be delivered for testing each time. Therefore the last 50 samples were sent to the Royal Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands, which could handle a larger amount, said the Ministry of Health.

    The swabs were taken from patients whith flu-like symptoms who sought medical care at their physician, the emergency center at the Academic Hospital and other medical institutions.

    "All of the newly confirmed infected cases have already recovered from the disease. So far one patient who was tested positively for A-H1N1 has died from complications linked to the infection," said the health department.

    From the 67 confirmed cases, 23 patients were hospitalized, including 12 children and 11 adults. Most of these patients were released from hospital, while up to last Sunday 5 patients were being treated at the intensive care unit of the Academic Hospital.

    In parliament several legislators raised concerns regarding the spreading of the infections and measures taken by the government to prevent an epidemic. Minister of Health, Celsius Waterberg, disclosed that the health authorities were monitoring the situation very closely.

    In his response to parliament the minister noted that, concerning the provision of the medication Tamiflu, priority is being given to vulnerable groups such as patients with heart or lung diseases, diabetics and people infected with HIV/AIDS.

    "There is no reason for panic, but we all have to be vigilant in order to contain the virus,” said the minister. He further noted that the country's health authorities and institutions are "well-prepaired" to handle the situation and contain the disease.

    In an attempt to prevent infection of patients and staff, the Academic Hospital is barring all visitors with flu-like symptoms and children to enter the hospital. Visitors are also urged to wear masks on entering the premises of the hospital.

    Meanwhile, the government launched a public awareness campaign informing citizens how to conduct themselves in public if they have the flu. Individuals who have contracted any type of flu are also being advised to stay home and ask their physician to make house calls rather for them to visit doctor's offices. Incoming passengers at the international airport are also being screened for flu.

    Suriname reported the first eleven cases of swine flu after the national volleyball squad returned from a tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. Sixteen members of the team returned home with flu-like symptoms and subsequent tests in French-Guiana and Trinidad and Tobago returned eleven samples positive for the swine flu virus.

  • #2
    Re: Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 67, with one death


    Suriname records first swine flu death

    PARAMARIBO, Suriname, September 9, 2009 - Suriname has recorded its first swine flu related death, but health officials have urged citizens not to panic.

    The victim was a woman who was suffering from complications associated with a lung disease. She died after becoming infected with the swine flu virus.

    So far, 67 persons in Suriname have contracted the virus, 23 of whom were hospitalised. But the Ministry of Health said that all of the newly confirmed infected persons have recovered.

    "There is no reason for panic, but we all have to be vigilant in order to contain the virus," said Health Minister Celsius Waterberg, who added that the authorities were monitoring the situation very closely.

    More than 254,000 swine flu cases have been recorded worldwide since the virus was discovered in humans in July. There have been almost 3,000 deaths.

    In related news, students and officials at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus in Jamaica remain on alert as the cases of persons with flu symptoms continue to increase.

    When the semester began on Monday, there were three confirmed swine flu cases.

    Classes were allowed to go on but the university postponed all social events for the rest of this week.

    The university said it would review the situation on Saturday and determine how to proceed.


    • #3
      Re: Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 106, with 2 deaths


      Suriname H1N1 flu cases surpass 100

      Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2009
      By Ivan Cairo
      Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent

      PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Health authorities in Suriname have reported a second swine flu-related death, while the number of patients suffering from the influenza AH1N1-virus reached 106. The ministry of Public Health in a press release disclosed on Monday that a number of test results were received from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago, of which 7 tested positively for the disease.

      Including test results from the past four weeks the number of infected patients increased to 106. However all the patients have already recovered. Since the swine-flu virus were discovered in may this year two people succumbed to complications related to the infection, said the Health ministry.

      According to the ministry ?the latest death is a female who was hospitalized with a serious heart condition?. The ministry of Health further reports that currently no patients with flu-like symptoms are being treated in the intensive care unit of the Academic Hospital. Meanwhile three adults and one child who contracted the virus were being treated last week in several other hospitals.

      Since the number of patients with flu-like symptoms who are being treated in hospitals around the country or seeking treatment at health clinics are dropping, the authorities claim that the first wave of the virus is over its peak. On a daily basis currently around two people are seeking treatment for flu infections. ?This definitely indicates that the first wave of the Mexican flu in Suriname has reached its peak. However, the ministry of Health, once again insist that we remain vigilant,? said the statement.

      This development have led the authorities to close the emergency clinic at the Academic Hospital and patients are being advised to seek treatment at their family doctor or in case of a serious situation to report at the Emergency Unit of the Academic Hospital. In accordance with guide lines of the World Health Organization (WHO) all patients with flu-like symptoms who consult a doctor are tested for swine flu.

      Meanwhile, the government is finalizing plans to launch a massive campaign to vaccinate vulnerable groups such as senior citizens, patients with serious health issues and diabetics against the common flu.


      • #4
        Re: Suriname H1N1 flu cases reach 106, with 2 deaths

        Suriname starts A-H1N1 vaccination

        Published on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 Email To Friend Print Version

        By Ivan Cairo

        PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Several thousand people in Suriname in the coming weeks will be vaccinated against the H1N1-virus, the so-called swine-flu, in a nationwide campaign that started last week.

        At a press conference, marking the launch of the campaign, health officials here noted that this is being done in anticipation of a possible second wave of the virus, which in 2009 killed thousands around the world. In Suriname two people died from this virus, while 110 were diagnosed with the illness.

        According to campaign coordinator Dewan Sharman, the Bureau for Public Health (BOG) already has 50,000 doses of the Pandemrix vaccine in stock, while an additional 50,000 doses are expected at the end of this month.

        Officials said that Suriname is ?not late? with the start of the vaccination campaign since other countries started their campaigns months earlier. It has been noted that health authorities had ample time to evaluate the results in other countries that used the same vaccine, and could determine whether it was effective or not.

        Worldwide over 28 million people in over 20 countries including Western Europe, Singapore and Malaysia have been treated with the Pandemrix vaccine.

        Lesley Resida, head of the Bureau for Public Health, said that, although there?s no immediate threat from the virus, precautionary measures are necessary. ?We can?t predict when and how the second wave will occur. Therefore preventive actions are necessary,? said the official.

        At the beginning of the campaign, risk groups such as health workers, pregnant women and individuals with serious health conditions such as diabetes, lung and heart disease or a weakened immune system will receive treatment.

        The total costs are estimated at US$111,000, with the Suriname government paying US$ 68,000, while the remainder will be financed by international organizations and the local business community.
        Twitter: @RonanKelly13
        The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.