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The Ministry of Health has advised that mass gathering activities should be avoided as much as possible but to the current “Pink Eye” outbreak across the country. YES, it is that bad of an outbreak in Belize; there are over 7,000 reported cases of conjunctivitis in the entire country.

“The Ministry especially asks for your consideration as we approach the long holiday weekend which usually comes with increased festive activities,” stated the Ministry of Health in a press release. “It is also advise to minimize travel within the country and also across our borders unless extremely necessary.”

Over the past month, there has been a severe outbreak of “conjunctivitis”. The Ministry of Health is reporting a total of 5,434 cases and according to a report from the Amandala Newspaper, these cases brings the total amount for this year to 7,720. Last year the total reported cases was 3,302.

This infection seems to be viral and not bacterial, which explains why it is spreading like a wild fire. Infected children are out of school; businesses are short staffed due to sick employees.  Here is what Social Security says to do to claim benefits for missing work due to the Pink Eye:

   * Social Security says not to visit their offices to claim benefit if you are still infected. It is being suspended because the Ministry of Health is advising all those with Pink eye to stay home.

   * Social security says it will accept sickness claims for Pink Eye AFTER the four days as late with good cause for delay.

   * Claims must be brought in immediately after recovery, and filed no later than two weeks after the illness to be consider don time.

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Dorian Nuñez

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