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Caribbean Swine Flu Rate Pushes Past 2,200 Mark

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 13, 2009:  The number of H1N1 or swine flu victims in the Caribbean continues to rise quietly even as the Center for Disease Control says the death toll in the U.S. is close to the 4,000 mark.

Latest Pan American Organization data analyzed by CaribWorldNews put the number at a reported 2,219 as of the period ending October 25-31, the same timeline analyzed by the CDC for the U.S.

Cuba is leading the way with 793 cases, according to PAHO, but the Dominican Republic has been hit by the most deaths from swine flu, with the number put at 22. H1N1 cases of infection in the DR are, however, put at 491.

Trinidad and Tobago has been listed as having the third highest swine flu infections for the rest of the Caribbean, coming in at 211 cases with 4 deaths so far.

Barbados has 154 cases, according to PAHO while Jamaica has 149. Deaths from swine flu in both nations have been put at 3 and 5, respectively.

Suriname was the only other Caribbean nation to register triple digit infection with 109 cases but only two deaths.

Haiti`s swine flu toll is put at 91 with no deaths while St. Lucia reported 55 with one death to date. Belize has registered 42 cases with six new ones reported in the last week of October alone.

Dominica also reported six new cases for that period, pushing its total reported cases to 36. St. Vincent and the Grenadines has, however, seen a spike in new cases, with 15 of its 17 cases reported in the last week of last month alone. However, there have been no deaths so far.

Guyana, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda have all reported no new cases and no deaths. The Grenada total remains at 20 while Guyana has reported 17 and Antigua and Barbuda just 4. One person has died from the disease in St. Kitts and Nevis to date, which currently has six cases, none of which are new.

Swine flu continues to grow across the Americas. The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC. People may be infected with the flu, including 2009 H1N1 and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

As a precaution, individuals are urged to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; wash their hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub; avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth and try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.