Last week Belize health officials confirmed 261 cases of dengue and are studying the clinical picture of nearly 2,000 people who had high fever and experienced other symptoms of the disease. The Vector Control Unit, along with health professionals, has been making rounds and premise checks in those communities that have shown a spike in cases.
The head of the Vector Control Unit Kim Bautista said the figure is higher than the reported in the same period last year, when in the country there were 225 infected patients. According to official statistics, the patients come from the communities of Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Corozal.
Although the Department of Epidemiology said so far there are no deaths from dengue, they urged the people to take the necessary precautions to avoid spreading the virus and its hemorrhagic variant, which is fatal. That entity also warned of the high possibility that sick people increase in the coming months, with the arrival of the rains.
Belize’s Ministry of Health says residents can prevent dengue by cleaning their environment. Data shows that areas were dengue cases have been reported, sources where mosquitos are breeding have been identified: these include: drums, bottles, tires, poor garbage disposal and poor drainage. Keeping clean is the key; the removal of containers that hold stagnant water will prevent the mosquitos to breed.
Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and develops symptoms such as high fever, joint pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Health professionals also addressed Chikungunya and Malaria cases in the country. So far there have been only two lab confirmed cases of Chikungunya coming from Belize City and Cotton Tree and only nine cases of Malaria have been reported in Belize City.