By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
Residents are being urged to get their influenza vaccination as the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is forecasting an influenza pandemic.
National Epidemiologist Harmony Brewley gave that advisory while speaking at a public meeting recently. She further warned residents of the dangers an individual could face, should they contract one of the more deadly strains of the virus.
“The strains are mutating, they are evolving. They are becoming more dangerous, so much so that PAHO is actually forecasting another influenza pandemic. And if you know anything about the last pandemic, you know that many people died,” Brewley said.
She further said: “The flu vaccines are available. If you yourself as the parent don’t want to take the vaccine, we’ll highly recommend you get your children vaccinated,”
Brewley also advised persons to practice good personal hygiene through the constant washing of hands among other measures.
“We’re now entering Influenza season, I’m sure you’ve seen people already coughing and sneezing and as you know the younger demographic — the little tiny tots — and the elderly are very susceptible to influenza.”
“So, we need to protect our children and our elderly and even ourselves because if you can’t protect yourself, you can’t protect your younger children,” Brewley added.
The last influenza pandemic was in 2009 to 2010 and resulted in more than 200,000 deaths from the A(H1/N1) strain of the virus.
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