Belize is reporting an outbreak of dengue along with several other Central American countries. According to reports there are more cases this year compared to last year, as much as twenty more times.
According to Belize’s Ministry of Health Surviellance Officer, Mrs. Lorna Perez, the record number of laboratory confirmed cases are just over 600 compared to 300 for last year. There are sixteen confirmed cases of severe dengue where patients have been hospitalized but none have been fatal so far.
The Ministry of Health said most of the new cases are in the north, with the Orange Walk District reporting the highest number of confirmed cases. The figures show there are 230 confirmed cases in Orange Walk District with Corozal having approximately 100 cases followed by Stann Creek with 105 cases and Cayo just under 100 cases.
Dengue is caused by the Aedes Egypti mosquito that breathes in open containers that hold water and the authorities are urging residents to do their part in eradicating the problem.
Vector Control Unit Chief of Operations, Kim Bautista, urges residents to take precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. "We advise residence to take a little walk around the yard once a week, anything that you don't need, discard it. Anything that can be stored in a dry area, you put it in there because I think that's what we're seeing that's driving the situation."
Kim Bautista is stressing on prevention measures. The Ministry of Health is in high alert and the vector control unit across the country has been spraying and carrying our awareness campaigns on best practices for residents in vulnerable communities.
The last time Belize has recorded over six hundred cases was back in 2015, but the ministry is concerned about the fact that seven months into 2019, those numbers have already been surpassed. From January to May of 2019, a total of 1.1 million cases of dengue have been reported across the Americas.