The last mosquito borne disease that health officials update the media on was Chikungunya. Last year, 8 suspected cases returned positive after being sent for testing at CARPHA and Central Medical Lab. For this year, Kim Bautista, says that they have confirmed two cases, so far.
“If you look at last year we had tested eight positives which had returned from Trinidad. Five of those came from the Las Flores area in Belmopan. For this year so far we have been sending samples through our reference lab; so far two of those have returned positive, both of them were persons who recently traveled to endemic areas abroad and upon return presented symptoms which was why those samples were sent out. I think this morning I was informed by Dr.Murray that we have some samples that were sent out from Corozal to CARPHA as well so I guess in the next few days or few weeks depending on the back load at CARPHA we’ll know pretty much how things are going in other areas of the country especially Corozal. We have seen whereby even the private sector has sort of scaled back in terms of Chik V testing because there are issues with the rapid test not being effective and so you have situations where even the private labs are referring people to Belize Central Lab. At the central lab those samples would be processed and sent to CARPHA so the last batch which we sent out in May resulted in no positive but we project that as we progress in the rainy season, we are just in August, normally the peak transmission time runs somewhere from around May to about October so we still have another three months to see how things play out this year. So we are expecting more samples to be sent out but for this year we can only confirm two more positives in terms of lab confirmed cases.”
Bautista says that as the rainy season progress, testing will be increased.