|Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad Al Anqari, Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Culture and Information, said the Cabinet also stressed the need for everyone in the Kingdom, both citizens and expatriates, to strictly abide by the preventive measures recommended by the Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of swine flu. (Gulf news) |
Also, as some schools recently started, there have been many cases of flu occurring leaving classrooms half full. Whether or not these are H1N1 is hard to detect as many patients assume it’s the normal seasonal flu and take over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms. The Minister of Education, Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah Al Saud and Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, have sent a memorandum stipulating that schools prepare for the situation by promoting healthy lifestyles among the children and training the teachers to present lessons which cover the Ministry of Health's disease prevention program. As teachers interact with students first hand, they will be guided in how to detect possible flu cases in order to direct students to healthcare. Thermal scanners as well as other materials will be distributed by the Ministry in an effort to combat Swine flu.
However, there was a recent directive issued by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz to all hospitals, especially private centers in Saudi Arabia to treat swine flu patients at the government’s expense in an attempt to stop the spread of the H1N1. This includes expats and those attending Ummrah.
Additionally, the Saudi Ministry of Health announced August 26th that patients who test positive for the H1N1 virus shall be granted a medical leave for seven days and will be quarantined in their homes, according to the daily “Al Madinah”. The health authorities explained that by isolating patients in their own home, the spread of the virus can be reduced, especially if they are working in jobs where they interact with large groups of people. In accordance with WHO recommendations, the Ministry of Health is also requesting that physicians provide pregnant women who have influenza like illnesses with antiviral medications (Tamiflu or Relenza).
Again, the main method of stopping the spread of the flu is to stay home when you have a high fever, cough, runny nose and to sneeze into your elbow not your hands. Washing hands is still the number one method of deterring the spread of any illness and if water and soap are not available then use a hand sanitizer. Remember, just because the use of analgesics has lowered the fever does not mean the patient is no longer contagious. Only when the fever has broken on its own and there are limited symptoms is the patient considered safe to return to school or work. As with any medical situation please follow your physician’s advice.
References: Various Gulf News articles: