(CNS) – The Bahamas government has confirmed that a 61-year-old man has died from the HINI influenza, otherwise known as swine flu.
Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands, who was unable to provide any specifics about the case, said the death occurred last week.
“H1N1 speaks to a particular subtype of influenza and the technically correct term is H1N1 influenza. Swine flu, while it makes for great headlines, this is not the same beast that we saw in 2009. We’re saying seasonal influenza and all influenza [are] serious,” he added.
The Health Minister said that there was no need for alarm given the recent death.
“We certainly would like to remind people that these [flu] shots are available, but certainly those high-risk individuals should get them. As a matter of fact, all adults or all persons older than six months of age should get them.”
The health authorities here say high-risk individuals include youth, the elderly, morbidly obese individuals and healthcare providers.
“The majority of influenza cases expected are going to be H1N1 and we’ve now had 4,500 people take up the influenza vaccine. It is not enough and we strongly encourage persons to go and get their flu shots,” Sands said.
Health officials said that the reported number of flu cases in the country ranges from 200 to 650 annually during the flu season that runs October to May, and peaks in the month of February.