Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram told Guardian Media there was no epidemic of influenza at this point and the more severe flu should be distinguished from the common cold.
His comment came in the face of recent cases of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) and H3N2 flu – and at least one death suspected due to complications.
Parasram, however, confirmed that H1N1 had been circulating since 2009 and the H3N2 flu also after that, in the region.
“We’ve been doing swabbing and we have H1N1 and H3N2 in circulation since last year as well as the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). With the influenza, the fever is very high grade and comes on more quickly with complications than the common cold,”
Parasram said all of the diseases – the influenzas as well as the common cold – are spread by droplet infection.
“Therefore everyone’s cough and sneeze etiquette is important. Cough or sneeze into a handkerchief, or cover-up. The main thing, however, is if you’re ill, is to stay at home – children especially – since it’s spread by contact,” he added.
Pararam said it was expected flu vaccines may be in health centres by end of the week if not before.
He recommended people shouldn’t take antibiotics for the influenza – except where there are complications – but use multisymptom tablets.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has called on the Government to come clean on the situation and not to attempt any cover-up.