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Aug 28, 2015

Chik-V Cases Confirmed in Corozal

The first confirmed case of Chikungunya was recorded in Belize’s public health archives back in November, following a rash of the mosquito-transmitted fever across the Caribbean and Latin America. Since then, there has been little to no reports on cases; that is, until today, when the Corozal Community Hospital sent out a PSA confirming several clinical cases of Chikungunya in that northern district. According to the hospital, various cases have popped up in Altamira area and since then the Ministry of Health has teamed up with the Corozal Town Council to organize a cleanup to destroy the breathing sites of the aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the vector through which dengue and chikungunya are transmitted. News Five spoke with Chief Operations Officer of the Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista, who says that there are four confirmed cases.

 

Kim Bautista

On the Phone: Kim Bautista, Chief Operations Officer, VCU

“About a month ago we had met with the media just to give them an update as to how things are going with vector borne diseases in the country. At the time, the ministry had stated that we continue to send out samples to CARPHA to confirm whether or not we have cases of Chikungunya in country. At the time, we had sent out samples from the Belmopan area, from Belize City and Corozal. And the results of those samples, we can confirm four cases from Altamira area in Corozal Town. We had sent out samples for different areas within Corozal itself as well, Corozal being one of the areas of higher incidents of dengue this year.  In terms of the ministry, we continue to send out these samples for confirmation. We continue to also investigate these cases because some of them appear to be local cases; others are from persons who travel outside of the country and return positive. And then based on that information we can give the different health regions technical advice in terms of increase in the spraying, distributing bed nets, increasing larvae citing, whether they need additional support staff; increasing the health education.”

 

Chik V, as it is called, first surfaced in the Las Flores area of Belmopan last November. Authorities at the time believed that the vector borne illness was transmitted into Belize from neighbouring countries in Central America and Mexico where it was already prevalent.

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