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Epidemic Management: A Caribbean University’s Response to the 2009 H1N1 Outbreak



In June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global influenza pandemic (1). During the throes of the epidemic, the Caribbean region recorded 22 deaths and 350 hospitalizations. Jamaica reported most of the deaths in the region – 7, followed by Trinidad and Tobago –5 and Barbados – 3; the remaining 7 deaths occurred in other Caribbean countries (2). In June, Jamaica reported its first case (3) and some three months later, in September 2009, The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus experienced an outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 virus infection. As one of the three main Campuses of the leading tertiary institution in the English-speaking Caribbean (others being in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados in addition to an ‘Open Campus’ which serves the non-Campus territories), the UWI Mona Campus serves some 15 000 students. These students originate mainly from the Caribbean; North American and African students also comprise the student population. The University Health Centre provides primary care services to a community of students, staff (3000) and their dependents, retirees, visiting staff and students.

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e-Published: 17 Oct, 2013
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