Immigrants Account for Several Malaria Cases in Belize

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Updated: August 6, 2015

While Dengue is on the rise, health officials reported today that Belize has seen a reduction of Malaria cases by 98.7% during the period of 2000 to 2014. Head of the Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista told the media today that Malaria continues to be concentrated mostly in the southern District of Stann Creek.  However, 2014 saw a resurgence of malaria in the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk. Four cases were detected in Patchakan Village and two were detected in the villages of San Pedro and San Victor. In Orange Walk, two cases were detected in San Estevan Village and the other in San Jose Village. In Belmopan, one case was detected but according to Bautista, that case was imported from Esquintla, Guatemala.

Kim BautistaKIM BAUTISTA

“We’ve had cases popping up from Guatemala. I am sure you guys are aware that Santander is setting up a sugar factory out in the west and with that influx of workers coming in from Guatemala we’ve also detected a malaria case and as well as a bunch of dengue cases coming in from these workers as well. Stan Creek which has been a traditional hot spot area for malaria we have been doing pretty good this year, we’ve only detected one case and that person is an individual who came into the country from Peten. Apparently he was seeking employment in Belize but in terms of malaria we are still not out of the woods yet in terms of our malaria cases simply because peak transmission in the south for malaria occurs during October-November so let’s see how it works out this year for malaria but last year we had nineteen now we are down to nine cases so I think we are doing pretty good in that area. In terms of malaria cases we saw a resurgence of malaria in the north as there is an ongoing outbreak of malaria on the Mexican side of the border. So 2015 we’ve seen a couple a malaria cases in Patchakan and San Pedro and San Victor. In Orange Walk we picked up a case in San Estevan and one in San Jose. The Dangriga case imported from Peten and as I said the one from Belize City was from the Norwegian Cruise ship member. The one from the Belmopan area came from those Santander workers which came in.”