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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘People haven’t come to terms with how easily this can be treated’ ]

‘People haven’t come to terms with how easily this can be treated’

Doctors plea for calm over H1N1 outbreak

WITH 18 new H1N1 cases confirmed yesterday, a top state doctor has slammed the way the Health Ministry has handled the public information campaign. Yesterday’s diagnoses brings the total number of confirmed cases on the island to 135.

Head of the State Doctors’ Union, Stavros Stavrou yesterday raised a number of matters he has come to view as “ludicrous”.

“Why on earth are patients that might have H1N1 wandering around hospital corridors when in other countries they are encouraged to not even set foot in general hospitals?” he asked.

In the UK the public is being urged to call their local GP if they think they have come down with the highly contagious flu virus – and stay away from hospitals.

“People here seem to be terrorised that this [virus] will send them to the grave and they consequently rush en masse to the hospital. Somewhere down the line, it has all taken on unnecessarily ridiculous proportions; with all these people heading to the hospitals it means that other sick or elderly people being treated in the vicinity are particularly susceptible to catching the illness.

“The whole situation should have been dealt with totally differently by the authorities from the get-go – they just haven’t given the right advice to help ease the situation.”

Stavrou also raised the concern that doctors dealing with flu cases may catch the virus and then pass it on to patients being treated in other wards.

However Flori Zetouni, the doctor in charge of H1N1 at Paralimni State Hospital, yesterday sought to assure the public that such reactions were totally uncalled for.

“There is absolutely no cause for concern about the virus spreading within hospital grounds,” she said.

“We’ve had a plan of action regarding how to deal with this specific flu weeks before it came to Cyprus. Here at Paralimni Hospital, we have signs up at the entrance guiding patients who think they might have the flu into specific rooms with specialised doctors.

“They do not go into the main building.”

Zetouni said that after three weeks of dealing with H1N1, no member staff has so far developed the symptoms.

“Of course there is always the chance of that happening but then the doctor would be sent straight home until they fully recovered.”

While agreeing that a general state of panic seems to have overcome many residents particularly in the Famagusta area, Zetouni emphasised that the virus was certainly “not the end of the world” and people have not yet come to terms with how easily it can be treated.

“All they have to do is follow our guidance. If they are positively diagnosed, they will be given the necessary medication and then sent straight home.

If they cannot remain isolation in their own environment, they will stay here in confined wards – they certainly don’t have contact with other patients and we don’t keep them here without good reason.”

Despite the fact that the new flu has taken on a pandemic dimension with the number of cases expected to rise, the Health Ministry also insist that the flows of incidents in hospitals around the country are being fully monitored and there is no cause for concern.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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