Trinidad and Tobago health authorities have confirmed a fifth death as a result of the HINI virus and urged people, particularly those considered to be within the “key at risk groups” to get vaccinated.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said that the woman, who was pregnant, died from the virus, also known as swine flu and hinted that the authorities were awaiting the results of blood tests from other fatalities.
Deyalsingh did not provide details regarding the pregnant woman but 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 vac¬cine on pregnant women.
The Ministry of Health said that it has since received 20,300 doses of the influenza vaccine through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for distribution across the country.
The ministry said it was urging those persons at risk, namely children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, adults over 65 and persons with chronic medical conditions, to ensure they are vaccinated.
“The ministry will continue to closely monitor the supply and distribution of influenza vaccines to ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demands,” the statement said.
The signs and symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of infections caused by other flu strains and can include fever, but not always chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery, red eyes, body aches and headache.