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Jan 21, 2016

What’s up with Dengue in Belize?

Kim Bautista

Later on in the newscast in our Healthy Living segment, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at vector-borne illnesses including Zika. Every year, the vector control unit of the Ministry of Health fights a mighty battle to control the spread of these diseases which are rampant in certain areas of the country. But are residents of those areas doing something wrong? Do they need to do something differently? News Five took the opportunity to ask Vector Control Chief Kim Bautista that question. According to Bautista, where vector-borne illnesses are concerned, the contributing factors differ from community to community.

 

Kim Bautista, Vector Control Chief of Operations

“I could tell you specific communities in the Cayo district where every year specific neighbourhoods within these communities will have dengue cases – communities in specific areas in Benque Viejo, Las Flores, Salvapan, San Martin, St. Matthews, Cotton Tree, Armenia – these are areas where you see little pockets every year. You look at contributing factors – some of them culturally they might store water. In some of them, within those communities there are illegal settlements and that is what we saw last year out West. In Camalote and Cotton tree there were some illegal settlements where the sanitary condition is a nightmare, so it’s conducive not only to vector-borne diseases but so many other things. You look at specific areas in Corozal that had dengue and you tend to find a lot of water being stores in containers and so these containers need to be kept covered. You look at areas in Belize City and the issue was in terms of drains and drainage. So within each community the contributing factors are different. Part of it is going to the communities and identifying what are the risk factors, and how you will work with the community to change some of these things.”

 

Stay tuned for much more on Zika, Chik V, malaria and dengue in our Healthy Living segment.  

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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