The Ministry of Health Thursday said there was no unusual rise in cases of respiratory illnesses following a message making the rounds on social media advising of an outbreak on the island.
The message warned that the condition was characterized by cold symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, body aches, fatigue and loss of appetite and urged people with the illness to avoid leaving home to go to work or other public places until the fever had subsided.
In a statement issued this evening the ministry assured that “cases of respiratory illnesses in Barbados were not above what is normally expected at this time of year”.
It also emphasized that the transmission of respiratory viruses was best reduced by practising good personal hygiene.
This includes “washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them with disposal tissue.
“If soap and water are not available, the use of an alcohol based hand sanitizer is recommended,” the ministry said.
Health officials also advised persons to keep unwashed hands away from the eyes, nose and mouth; and to generally avoid touching these areas as germs can enter the body this way.
“Members of the public are also reminded to cover the nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing. Alternately, persons should cough or sneeze into the inner side of the elbow,” the statement said, adding that used tissue should be discarded in a bin or a tied plastic bag.