(Trinidad Guardian) Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh has confirmed a fifth death as a result of swine flu.
Deyalsingh confirmed this to Guardian Media yesterday, some one week after a woman who was 15 weeks pregnant died from the virus. The minister did not divulge the details of the case but confirmed the patient fell within the at-risk group.
The at-risk-groups are children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, persons over 65, persons with chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes mellitus) and persons with chronic respiratory illnesses (such as asthma).
Deyalsingh said apart from the five confirmed deaths there were other fatalities which were suspected to have been caused by H-1-N-1. However, these cases are still unconfirmed as blood samples have been sent for testing.
Deyalsingh also urged the public to take the influenza vaccine and expressed concern that there had been a drop in people seeking the vaccine over the past few weeks after a media house ran a segment on the effects of the vaccine on pregnant women. He appealed to citizens to take every precaution to protect their lives.
The Health Ministry also confirmed in a release yesterday that 20,000 influenza vaccines arrived for distribution to public health facilities across Trinidad and Tobago. The additional shots were received through the Pan American Health Organisation and had been ordered after reported shortages of vaccines in South Trinidad.