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Belize monitors dengue situation

The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the number of dengue cases in Belize. While there is no outbreak in the country, the ministry is keeping a close eye on the situation at home since there is a projection for a more active season in 2019. Kim Bautista of the Vector Control Unit explains.

Kim Bautista Vector Control Unit: “Last month we had a follow up press release in the region from PAHO. Speaking about the projected forecast this year for Dengue. Prior to that the Caribbean Public Health Agency C.A.R.P.H.A. had issued a similar alert whereby it was based on disease modeling. Their mathematical calculations had forecasted that we should expect a very active dengue season this year based on the experience that they have already been seeing with Jamaica for example dealing with an outbreak. The region of the Americas, specifically Central America has been dealing with the elevated number of cases for the early part of this year already and so based on that they sent out and advisory to all the countries outlining specific things that we need to do in terms of preparation.”

Bautista says that Belizeans must ensure that they heed the warnings especially since there has not been significant changes in regards to prevention measures.

Kim Bautista Vector Control Unit: “So what we have seen is that Dengue is a disease that is transmitted by many social factors. There are many social factors in terms of socio economic conditions and areas that we tend to see transmission are those poverty stricken areas. Areas with poor infrastructure in place and so although you have this hand full of sixty officers countrywide dealing with this disease the behavior of the population hasn’t really changed as you would expect.”

Bautista says that based on their assessments so far, in most areas in Belize there is a moderate risk for transmission.