Health Minister ‘takes the needle’ to highlight flu vaccination

Posted by on Nov 7, 2010 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

HEALTH Minister Zane DeSilva is hoping to ‘inject’ some momentum into a Department of Health campaign urging local residents to protect themselves against the flu as winter approaches.

Both the Minister and his Permanent Secretary, Kevin Monkman, rolled up their sleeves for their Ministry and underwent the “painless” vaccination without even a flinch.

Minister of Health Zane DeSilva (left) looks on as Health Permenant Secretary Kevin Monkman (center) is given a flu shot by nurse Carla Lowe.

“Nurse Carla Lowe was very gentle!“ said Minister De Silva. “It takes just a second and can spare you from serious complications of the flu – which is especially true for children and the elderly.

“All it takes is one person to cough or sneeze in your direction and you could be battling the virus for weeks, or, in serious cases, battling for your life.”

The Minister added: “I am hoping my decision to get this vaccination may encourage others to consider doing the same now that we are officially into the flu season.”

The Ministerial injection was a bid to raise awareness to the Department of Health’s campaign to remind the public that seasonal influenza vaccination is important to reduce the risk of serious, complicating illness, as well as absence from school and work.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection which spreads from person to person via infected droplets from coughs and sneeze. For most people it is not generally a serious condition but is often very unpleasant and temporarily debilitating.

For some, however, flu can be quite dangerous, even life-threatening, because it may increase the risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.

Symptoms of flu develop two to four days after exposure and may remain mild.

However, serious attacks may cause sudden onset of sore throat, and runny nose with high fever, headache, backache, muscle pains fatigue and general malaise.

Most people recover after several days, requiring extra fluids, rest and ibuprophen or acetaminophen to control fever and body aches. (NOTE: Aspirin should not be given to children and teenagers with flu-like symptoms).

Nurse Carla Lowe (right) administers a flu shot to Health Minister Zane DeSilva

Health Minister Zane DeSilva (right) with Cheif Medical Officer Dr. John Cann

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