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Ministry of Health says all clear in whooping cough scare

No Belizean has been diagnosed with whooping cough. That’s the latest information from the Ministry of Health which has concluded its monitoring of the situation. The Ministry mobilized after receiving a report that a tourist who had been diagnosed with pertussis, a bacterial infection most commonly known as whooping cough, had entered the country in the third week of March.  The tourist had been to different places in Belize and came in contact with a number of people during his/her stay prompting the Ministry into action. Head of the Epidemiology Unit in the Ministry, Dr. Ethan Goff says no infection was detected.

Dr. Ethan Goff,  Head of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health:  “In response to that we decided to issue and advisory to the public just to let people know that if they are presenting with any of the signs and symptoms of whooping cough they should seek healthcare so that we could do the necessary follow up for treatment and make sure that their contacts are vaccinated etc. So far we haven’t identified any cases of whooping cough that have been linked to that traveller so as it stands right now I think we are in the clear in terms of any transmission from that visitor to our local population. The visitor from the investigations we did traveled to a couple different places across the country, tourist places, and we haven’t had any cases identified from any of those areas.”

Reporter: So the monitoring period has closed?

Dr. Ethan Goff,  Head of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health:”I would say so yes. I think we would give about two to three weeks – in the case of whooping cough specificall and that period has passed and we haven’t identified any cases linked to that person.”

The Ministry monitored both children and adults.