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Alert over spike in flu cases

An increase in flu cases has sparked a “medium alert” from health watchdogs.

The Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit at the Ministry of Health issued the warning after a rise in influenza and fever and respiratory symptoms.

A spokeswoman for the ministry said 5 per cent of cases had required hospital admissions so far this year.

Some people are at higher risk of developing serious complications from flu, especially those 65 and older, people with some chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease and pregnant women and young children.

The ministry also issued guidelines designed to cut the spread of flu.

• Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated against flu every year. People should contact their doctor or visit the Department of Health Clinic on Victoria Street, 278-6460, to be vaccinated.

• People should stay away from work, school and public places if they have flu symptoms. These can include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, muscle aches, headaches and tiredness.

• People should consult their doctor for advice, especially if symptoms are severe. If people think they have the flu, they should call their doctor's office before they go.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• People should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

• Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue or an elbow and used tissues should be thrown in the trash.

• Frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school, such as doorknobs telephones and bathroom fixtures, should be disinfected regularly.

Updates on the island's influenza levels can be found on the government website at

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Published January 22, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 22, 2020 at 7:59 am)

Alert over spike in flu cases

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