Outbreak of Acute Respiratory Infections in Grenada and other Caribbean islands

There seem to be what medical officials are calling an Acute Respiratory Infection in Grenada and several other Caribbean islands possibly including Dominica.

Several people, mostly children, who are not diagnosed with asthma are presenting with serious respiratory infections. They all have flue-liked symptoms including congestion, runny nose, fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. 

On Thursday, for instance, the Epidemiology Department of the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs in Grenada said it was closely monitoring an active outbreak of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in the country. 

And they said that based on its most recent laboratory testing conducted on September 27, 2022, the cause of this outbreak is linked to the Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 or (AH3N2), Rhinovirus and Adenovirus.  

Confirmatory testing was done by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is based in Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Ministry of Health in Grenada.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles stated that the Influenza A H3N2 virus is very contagious and can cause severe illness, especially in patients who are very young or old or have chronic underlying medical conditions. 

He advised the public including persons caring for sick persons and sick persons themselves should practice personal hygiene that is known to be effective in preventing Acute Respiratory Infection. Those caring for children are also asked to take precautions.

Most causes of acute respiratory infections aren’t treatable. Therefore, prevention is the best method to ward off harmful respiratory infections.

Washing your hands frequently, especially after you’ve been in a public place, and always sneezing into the arm of your shirt or in tissue are just some of the ways to practice good hygiene.

Health experts say although this may not ease your symptoms, it will prevent you from spreading infectious diseases.

Persons should also avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and mouth, to prevent introducing germs into your system.


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