Flu virus expected to spread on Island

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The original article can be found in: The Royal Gazette By Owain Johnston-Barnes

The end of the holiday season marks the start of a less desirable time of year according to the Health Department — flu season.

A spokeswoman for the Department said yesterday that reports from last week indicate that Influenza B is circulating around the Island.

“The Department anticipates that further syndromic surveillance will slowly show an increase in the number of cases as flu season progresses,” the spokeswoman said.

“Flu season officially begins in November although, typically, flu season usually doesn’t become apparent in Bermuda until after the Christmas season.

“It should be noted that there have been anecdotal reports of an increased number of cases of gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhoea), especially over the Christmas period.”

Typical flu symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, coughs, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, upset stomach and fatigue.

Those suffering from the flu are advised to contact their physician, stay hydrated and limit contact with others to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Parents concerned about their children are asked to contact their healthcare provider, and are reminded that children should not be given aspirin to reduce fever due to the risk of Reyes syndrome.

While adults and healthy children older than five do not usually require antiviral treatment, such medication may be suggested for children under five years old and adults who are severely ill or pregnant.

Anyone who has experienced illness are asked to contact their GP, even if they have not visited their physician, to help the Department of Health keep accurate records on the prevalence of illness in Bermuda.

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