Health

Death of 3 pregnant women associated with influenza

Three pregnant women have died after suffering from an influenza strain, which according to the Ministry of Health is similar to the pandemic influenza H1N1 and is more infectious. The Ministry of Health’s Adviser for Communicable Diseases Dr. Mike Kama told Newswire that they are looking into the unusual deaths attributed to the influenza strain in […]

Staff Writers

June 18, 2016 9:35 am

Three pregnant women have died after suffering from an influenza strain, which according to the Ministry of Health is similar to the pandemic influenza H1N1 and is more infectious.

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Ministry of Health Adviser for Communicable Diseases Dr. Mike Kama. (Newswire)

The Ministry of Health’s Adviser for Communicable Diseases Dr. Mike Kama told Newswire that they are looking into the unusual deaths attributed to the influenza strain in the past month.

The Ministry has recorded that three to five deaths attributed by the influenza are recorded yearly.

In the month of May, the Ministry are responding to the death of three pregnant women who lost their lives to the virus.

KAMA: “It’s attributed to influenza and its exactly not caused by the virus itself. There is some association to it. We thought it was very unusual. We have ramped up our monitoring in hospitals.”

Dr Kama said that the influenza is more common in the cold season in Fiji and that pregnant women and people with heart problems are most likely to be affected.

KAMA: “Influenza is something we meet up regularly over a cause of the year. Usually in the colder part of the season that we get influenza, it’s not out of the ordinary and the vulnerable in our community should seek medical treatment early.”

A task force group within the Ministry is working with World Health Organization that is responding to the situation.

KAMA: “We have a task force within the Ministry and they’ve been working with WHO trying to respond to this situation. They three women were treated at the CWM. The important lesson here is we don’t want them to get severely sick and to be rushed to hospital, then your chances are very dim in recovering. Those three cases, were brought in quite late.”

The Ministry of Health workers in high-risk areas have been vaccinated.

KAMA: “And what we’ve got is a vaccine to immunize workers in the front line and to keep them healthy. Our other priority, is the vulnerable group especially pregnant women and the elderly in community.

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