Barbados records first swine flu death

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, September 30, 2009 – Barbados has recorded its first swine flu death, but few details about the victims have been released. The Ministry of Health would only say the person was an adult with underlying medical conditions.

In offering her “condolences to the deceased’s family”, Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John said she “deeply regretted the passing of the person”.

She urged the public to take the necessary precautionary measures and follow the guidelines put out by the Ministry of Health, so as to minimise the risk of contracting the H1N1 virus.

“We must continue to practice good hygiene if we are going to overcome this H1N1 outbreak. This death also shows that those predisposed groups must be extremely careful,” Dr St John said.

Barbados has so far recorded 96 confirmed cases of H1N1 infection.

However, the Chief Medical Officer was quick to point out that there could be more infected with the virus.

“This figure does not accurately reflect the current incidence of the disease here, since we have not been swabbing everybody who has exhibited flu-like symptoms in wake of the fact that there is in-country transmission,” she explained.