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Return of the Flu

Health Care 10 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Return of the Flu

After nearly two years, the annual flu is returning to the Cayman Islands.

Current data from the Southern Hemisphere, which is closing off its winter  season and its flu season, shows the number of flu cases surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, which monitors the flu during the country’s flu season of May-September, reported nearly 225,000 cases of the flu through 25 September 2022, with 1,784 hospitalisations, of which 6.8%were admitted to the ICU.

If this is an indication of what Cayman can expect as it enters its Fall/Winter season, then residents will need to not only pay close attention to the trends, but also decide early on what will be the best course of action to safeguard their own health and wellness.

The American Centre for Disease Control (CDC) flag the population under the age of 2 and over the age of 65 as being the most vulnerable for flu related complications.

However, Australian figures indicate that in 2022 “people aged 5-9 years, children aged younger than 5 years, and people aged 10–19 years have the highest notification rates” of the flu this season.

In fact, USA TODAY reports that 60% of flu hospitalisations in Australia have come from youth under the age of 16.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is strongly urging the population that is eligible to receive the flu vaccine to do so, given the lowered levels of natural immunity to the flu this year.

The flu vaccine is now available in the Cayman Islands.

Roll out of the flu vaccine began on 5 October 2022 at the George Town Hospital Atrium, and district clinics will begin rolling out the flu vaccine on 11 October, 2022.

The flu vaccine is recommended locally for all residents 6 months and older, and is especially important for those considered to be high risk for flu related complications including:

• children under the age of 2

• pregnant women

• residents 50+

• persons with underlying health conditions (heart, lung, kidney diseases or weakened immune system)

• close contacts of vulnerable/high risk groups

• health care workers

For more information:  www.hsa.ky

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