Health Officials Monitor Toledo, Corozal and Cayo

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Updated: August 6, 2015

This morning, the media was called out to the offices of the Ministry of Health in Belmopan where health officials shared the latest statistics as it relates to Dengue, Chik V and Malaria. The three districts that they are closely monitoring are Toledo, specifically Punta Gorda Town, Corozal and Cayo. Hipolito Novelo has the report.

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

Kim Bautista the Chief Operations Officer for the Vector Control Unit of the Ministry of Health says that at week 31, 1638 persons were tested for dengue. Out of that, 261 cases were confirmed by laboratory testing. This is 36 more cases or a 16 percent increase when compared to data from last year during the same period. However, in Belize City, the cases of lab confirmed cases decreased by 46 percent.  Health officials are keeping a close eye on the Corozal, Cayo and Toledo districts.”

KIM BAUTISTA

“Cases in Punta Gorda came about in May of this year. Our current areas of priority or zones I would say is Cayo and Corozal. In the Cayo District we are looking at specifically at Camalote Village, Cotton Tree, San Martin, Maya Mopan and Salvapan as where the bulk of cases are re-occurring. In Corozal there are a few hot spots in Corozal Town, you have Altamira and villages like Caledonia, Copper Bank, San Narciso and Santa Clara.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“Statistics for Cayo reveal that in that district, out of 359 persons tested 36 cases were laboratory confirmed and 257 cases clinically confirmed.”

KIM BAUTISTA

“The disparity is in terms of clinical cases which comes about because you are dealing with a few villages.  So if you establish that there is dengue within these villages then there is no use to test everybody, if they fit the clinical criteria then they are classified as clinically confirmed cases which is why you see the disparity in terms of the cases. Compared to 2014 it was less clinical cases simply because the cases trickled in so you would get a case every other day as compared to a majority of your cases coming within a short time in these villages.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“Health officials shared that one person with severe dengue is currently being treated at the Western Regional Hospital.”

DR. FRANCIS MURRAY

“The appearance of hemorrhagic diseases especially dengue is of great concern for us at the Ministry of Health and even more for those members affected by a death in their family. So there might be more cases as we continue in the next few months coming but prevention is one of the best things that we can do as a community and as members of the community.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“The Ministry of Heath has embarked in several preventative methods, primarily education campaigns and Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) spraying.”

KIM BAUTISTA

“The volume has been so much that you get concern from the public simply because they would say that they don’t have any cases but they are seeing a high volume of spraying being done simply because it’s preventative spraying being carried out. In hotspot areas we are targeting those as well. I believe at this point in time each district has a minimum of two vehicles being used for ULV spraying. Belize City, they have four because it is a bigger area that you are dealing with so I think it’s pretty good in terms of ULV spray but it’s not only ULV spray like I had indicated each of the districts has hired an average of six to seven additional workers. These workers are on the ground applying larvaecides.  They are also operating in terms of fogging out houses that are in neighborhoods that have cases and then they are also working with public health inspectors and public health educators.”

Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.