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Don't panic, Gonsalves tells St. Vincent

Friday, October 4, 2013

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves is assuring citizens that there is no reason to panic as six cases of swine flu have been confirmed on the island.

"I have been asked to assure everyone that matters are under control. We have the antiviral treatment in the country, 3 000 tablets and we can source additional stock from PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) and that stock is available to us to get very quickly," said Gonsalves, who is acting Minister of Health.

"Not everyone will meet the criteria of treatment but it depends on the clinical criteria of the physician in relation to this particular matter," Gonsalves said. He said reports from the Ministry of Health show that of 51 cases of the suspected illness, only six cases have been confirmed as H1N1, commonly called swine flu.

Gonsalves said an initial 11 swabs were sent to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CAPHA) last month and the results received confirmed six cases of H1n1.

He said St Vincent and the Grenadines had informed PAHO of the results and it responded on September 25.
"There was a routine surveillance meeting on September 27 and it highlighted a need to develop and implement a national public relations strategy to raise public awareness," Gonsalves said, adding "here is a document which they have sent to me as the acting minister, outlining what they are doing as from
today so that people don't have to panic about this matter".

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Total: 4 Pages: 1
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Total: 4 Pages: 1

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