The South-West Regional Health Authority is advising that there were two suspected cases of meningitis recently dying in South Trinidad but says, however, that none of these have yet been confirmed.
The SWRHA has, in a statement, extended its sincerest condolences to the families of the two children.
"In keeping with the SWRHA's protocols, samples to test for meningitis were taken from the patients and sent to the Trinidad and Tobago Public Health Laboratory," the statement says.
It added: "Due to the contagious nature of the disease, officials from the South-West Regional Health Authority and the Office of the County Medical Officer of Health for County Victoria, visited the children’s schools to ensure that the public health measures have been put in place and surveillance continues. The SWRHA continues to be on heightened alert and surveillance for suspected meningitis cases and has coordinated all its facilities to be fully prepared for any further presence of the disease in the South-West Region."
The symptoms of meningitis include:
• Neck stiffness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Muscle pain
• Stomach cramps
• Intolerance to light
• Fever with chills and cold hands and feet
The SWRHA notes that personal hygiene practices are the main means of protecting persons, and says members of the public can take simple precautions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases like meningitis.
• Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Throw the tissue in the trash bin after use and wash your hands with soap and water.
• If you don’t have a tissue sneeze into your sleeve or elbow
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water especially after coming in contact with any secretions
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Stay home when you are sick to avoid spread For prolonged symptoms, please visit your nearest health facility.
The SWRHA says it remains committed taking all the precautions required to manage a contagious disease of this type and is committed to safeguarding the health of the population.