While widespread reports of the global influenza epidemic have circulated recently, there was some hope that so-called Spanish Flu may pass Jersey by. The sudden death of John and Edith Jeune early last week dispelled any optimism however. The couple, both in their 30s, fell ill with the virus and died within days. Since then the number of local cases, and deaths, has soared. The town is particularly hard hit, with hundreds of cases reported. In some streets it seems not a household has been spared.
After initially downplaying the threat, island authorities have moved rapidly, attempting to contain the outbreak. Schools are closed, places of entertainment ordered shut and gatherings for whatever reason banned. Alongside, many businesses and retailers have also closed or reduced opening hours as staff have either become sick or decided to remain at home.
The States’ Sanitary Committee has published preventative advice to islanders. This includes regularly flushing rooms with fresh air, thorough cleaning of all infected places, avoiding alcohol and no indiscriminate spitting. The virus is known to be highly contagious, is the warning, and very dangerous in the early days of infection.
A/E/3 contains a letter from the Isle of Man government expressing regret to learn that Spanish Flu is affecting Jersey so badly.