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More Tests Needed

Minister of Health, the Hon. Mark Scotland

Until the official results are announced I urge everyone to avoid participation in the many rumours that have been circulating regarding this case.

—Minister of Health, the Hon. Mark Scotland

At 4pm this afternoon (Monday, 20 July) the Ministry of Health held a press conference at GIS.

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Mark Scotland, Public Healthís Dr. Kiran Kumar, and Health Services Medical Director Dr Greg Hoeksema and CEO Lizzette Yearwood were there to brief the press and answer questions.

A 31-year old Caymanian man, residing at Caribbean Haven (governmentís substance abuse treatment centre) passed away this morning at the hospital. A test done locally was negative for influenza. The test has about a 90% accuracy rate; however, samples have been sent to CAREC in Trinidad for further testing.

Health Services will be investigating the cause of the manís death.

Public Health will be seeing residents and staff at Caribbean Haven this evening.

The Hon. Mark Scotland,

Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture

Statement re H1N1 Update

Following advice regarding the death of a young man at the Cayman Islands Hospital this morning, the entire government and I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to the family during their time of grief.

We were saddened to hear of this loss and assure you that we are doing everything in our power to determine the cause of death.

Already, you may have heard of a possible H1N1 (Swine Flu) connection. Ongoing investigations will confirm whether or not this is the case shortly. Until the official results are announced I urge everyone to avoid participation in the many rumours that have been circulating regarding this case.

Please note that we will provide regular updates, via the local media, as the situation develops. Indeed, I believe this afternoon's press conference underscores this government's and the Health Services Authority's (HSA) commitment to open communication.

In the mean time, we encourage everyone to continue following the HSA's widely publicised guidelines to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

We have every confidence in the National Influenza Pandemic Committee, in the contingency plan, and in the measures which have already been so purposefully implemented.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Susan Watler