Health authorities in Barbados have reported eight suspected cases of the H1N1 and Zika viruses.

Minister of Health, John Boyce said samples have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for confirmatory testing and the results will be shared with the public as soon as the ministry receives word from the agency.

Boyce has cautioned the population not to panic, but urged them to use simple measures to prevent mosquito breeding around their homes, business places and communities.

The Zika virus which was reported in the Caribbean region for the first time in June 2015 is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito. Illness resulting from infection is usually mild, and it is not considered to be as severe as Dengue Fever or Chikungunya.

Meanwhile, the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as the swine flu virus, is transmitted easily from person to person via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough or sneeze. Symptoms are similar to those of the seasonal flu and include: cough, fever, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

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