St. Lucia confirms its first COVID-19 case: woman, 63, with UK travel history

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St. Lucia confirms its first COVID-19 case: woman, 63, with UK travel history
Positive blood test result for the new rapidly spreading Coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China

(PRESS RELEASE) — As of Friday, March 13, 2020, Saint Lucia recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

The patient is a sixty-three (63)-year-old woman with a travel history from the United Kingdom.

To date, the United Kingdom has reported a total of three hundred and twenty-three (323) confirmed cases of COVID-19 with active community transmission.

The patient arrived in Saint Lucia on March 7, 2020 in the company of her husband and presented to our health care system on March 11, 2020.

The patient was been placed in isolation at a medical facility as per the established protocol for the management of suspect cases of COVID-19.

A clinical sample was taken from the patient on the same day, March 11, 2020 and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA for testing. The result which was received on Friday, March 13, 2020 confirmed that this is a case of COVID-19.

As a result of the travel history of significance and the symptoms, health care practitioners are currently undertaking the required contact tracing and quarantine of contacts of this individual who have displayed no signs or symptoms of the virus to date.

The public is reminded that there are actions which can be taken to reduce our risk of infection.

These include:

— regular handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.

— cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.

— avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

— seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.

— The Department of Health and Wellness assures the public that all efforts are being taken to protect the health and safety of health practitioners engaged in the care of this individual as well as the health and safety of the public.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively

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