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Feb 9, 2016

Belize City Mayor Prepares for Zika…Just in Case

Darrell Bradley

A zika national preparedness plan is being rolled out. So is the Belize City Council, which acts as the body which manages any emergency within its municipal jurisdiction through the City Emergency Management Organization, ready. Today, Mayor Darrell Bradley told us that he is getting prepared, and will actively collaborate with the Ministry of Health and stakeholders in the event their worst fears are realized and Zika makes an appearance in the old capital.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“A concern that I have had is in relation to the zika virus. I am suppose to be getting a briefing from the Ministry of Health in relation to the exposure in the city, but the drainage concerns and the puddling of water throughout the city is a serious factor for multiple reasons. And you see it when you are talking about the incidents of dengue or something like the zika virus which is in part transmitted by mosquitoes. So that if you have water in open areas—in drains or in residence or in a pothole for example—and that continues to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, it can assist with the proliferation of a virus if in fact it comes to Belize City. So that’s a risk that we are talking about and that is a risk that we will work with in relation to the various entities that have charge or jurisdiction over that because there are some things from a public health standpoint that we can advise members of the public on. For example if you have canisters in your yard with water, make sure that they are empty. If you have any area that you think could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, make sure that that’s clear. Even if you have difficulties with your drainage, report it to the City Council or if you notice that the City Council is slow, which is often times the case, see if you can do whatever you can to make sure that that water is flowing. The response to zika, if in fact it does become a public health concern or crisis in Belize—if there is an incident or so forth—particularly in the city, that will take a community response. And I think the community needs to be guided in relation to what steps can be taken even at this early stage in relation to gaining information and in relation to ensuring that there are not any spawning grounds for mosquito—not only for this but other concerns. I mean dengue and other kinds of diseases that would be transmitted by that.”

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