Home News Caribbean News COVID-19 – Respiratory infections increase in St Lucia

COVID-19 – Respiratory infections increase in St Lucia

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  • Saint Lucia continues to record confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Increase in Respiratory Infections over the last four weeks
  • Pfizer, Janssen COVID-19 vaccines and Influenza vaccines available from Monday, September 11, 2023
  • The dominant variant of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia is an omicron sub-variant called XBB.1.5.

Caribbean News Global Contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The ministry of health, wellness and elderly affairs advised the public last Friday that it “has noted an increase in Respiratory Infections over the last four weeks.

The Pfizer, Janssen COVID-19 vaccines and the Influenza vaccines are available at all wellness centres from Monday, September 11, 2023, said the ministry of health:

“The flu is a contagious and potentially serious respiratory disease that can result in unfavourable outcomes such as severe illness, hospitalization and death. It is therefore important for persons, especially our vulnerable population and the elderly to be vaccinated against the virus causing the Flu.”

The ministry of health, wellness and elderly affairs advisory continued:

“Generally, the flu season runs from October to March annually, and during period, we normally see an increase in the number of persons with flu-like symptoms, both at the public and private health facilities. The Flu virus constantly changes and as a result, the vaccine is updated from one season to the next to protect against newer influenza virus strains. For this reason, it is recommended that persons get vaccinated annually.

“Persons with chronic illnesses and the elderly are particularly advised to get vaccinated. Vaccination remains the best protection against severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death.”

“As Saint Lucia continues to record confirmed cases of COVID-19, the ministry of health, wellness and elderly affairs encourages persons who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, or are partially vaccinated to visit their nearest wellness centre and get vaccinated.”

The dominant variant of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia is an omicron sub-variant called XBB.1.5.

On August 24, 2023, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sharon Belmar-George reckoned that Saint Lucia has since integrated the care and management of COVID-19 into the healthcare system as we learn to live safely with COVID-19.

“Over the past year, we have continued to note the introduction of new variants and have managed COVID-19 cases in country,” Dr Belmar-George added: “The new variants introduced seem more contagious than regular influenza, causing respiratory illness lasting between 5-7 days. Generally, the testing rate is very low at this time, with most patients managing the symptoms at home, self-treating until recovery. The majority of patients make a full recovery without hospitalization nor [or] deaths.”

Dr Belmar-George, however, made a stunning admission:

“As expected, over the period of increased mass crowd activities, during the last three weeks, we note an increased number of persons with respiratory illness both at the public and private health facilities.”

 

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