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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — Grenadian health officials are closely monitoring the current situation regarding the Avian Influenza-A Virus H7N9.

On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer Dr George Mitchell and Senior Medical Officer of Health Dr Alister Antoine called a meeting of the National Surveillance Response Team (NSRT) to assess the situation and update members.

According to Mitchell, to date a total of 126 confirmed cases have been reported in China, with 26 associated deaths. He said there are no cases reported outside of China/Taiwan.

The CMO added that the mode of is transmission is not known and as such no cases of human to human transmission have been demonstrated thus far.

However last week, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) issued an advisory to associated member states suggesting the following:

• That countries continue their routine Acute Respiratory Infection (ATI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance
• Investigate all severe respiratory infection
• Pay specific attention to cases of unknown etiology
• Carefully assess clusters of cases of ARI and SARI
• Assess underlying medical conditions and exposure history (e.g. travel & occupation) as part of case investigation
• Collect and send specimen of suspected cases to CARPHA laboratory
• Update and implement the relevant components of national hazard plans for preparedness and response to public health events.

However, there were no recommendations for health screening at points of entry in relation to this event or the imposing of travel or trade restrictions.

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