Rise In Cases Of COVID-19 And Other Respiratory Infections

PR – The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Religious Affairs (MOHWARA), is closely monitoring reports of  increasing cases of respiratory infections in countries globally.  

The Ministry notes, the most prevalent viruses identified as causes include  coronavirus (SARS CoV2), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza. 

Although this pattern of increase in respiratory diseases is expected at this time  of the year, it can still cause significant discomfort to patients, disruption in daily  activities due to sick days, and put a strain on health services. Hospitalizations  and even death can result in individuals who have underlying health conditions.  

As it relates to Grenada, reported cases of acute respiratory infections declined  during the final two weeks of 2023, compared to prior periods. However, data  from our surveillance unit shows a slight increase was observed in the first week  of 2024. There were seventeen (17) confirmed/reported cases of COVID-19  during the first week of 2024, compared to seven (7) in the last four weeks of  2023. Those cases generally presented symptoms including fever, congestion,  runny nose, headache, and body pain.

The MOHWARA remains vigilant and continues to take the following actions: 

  • Track the number of cases that are reported locally. 
  • Monitor the use of health clinics for cold and flu-like symptoms. Monitor hospital admissions for severe respiratory infections.  Allocate the necessary resources to deal with any challenges. Maintain situational awareness of healthcare providers. 
  • Public education and awareness.  

The public is reminded that increased travel to Grenada increases the risks of the importation of many diseases including new variants of COVID-19. As such,  we anticipate further increases in respiratory cases in the coming weeks. It is very  important for everyone to be aware of the health risks associated with these  respiratory viruses (SARS CoV2, RSV and Influenza) and take the necessary  precautions to avoid getting infected and passing on the disease.  

Remember: 

  • Wear a mask in crowded spaces and on public transportation, especially  if you have flu-like symptoms, and when visiting clinics, hospitals, and  elderly homes.  
  • Practice physical distancing and avoid crowds where possible. Cover cough and sneeze using a tissue or the bend of the elbow. Wash  and sanitize hands regularly. 
  • Where possible avoid contact with people displaying respiratory  symptoms, especially while not wearing a mask.
  • Seek medical attention if you feel very sick or have concerns about  symptoms.  
  • Get a flu shot if you have a chronic disease, are over 65, pregnant or have  a condition that weakens your immune system. The ministry of health  provides seasonal flu vaccines annually to the public at no charge.  Clean and sanitize high contact surfaces regularly. 
  • As far as possible ensure good ventilation and airflow in enclosed spaces. 

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Religious Affairs wishes everyone a happy  and healthy 2024. It also extends best wishes to the nation on its 50th anniversary  of independence.