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Apr 20, 2016

Still no Confirmed Cases of Zika in Belize, M.O.H. Prepares Nonetheless

Marvin Manzanero

Zika is not yet officially confirmed in Belize and that is because the country remains on a waiting list at Caribbean Public Health Agency as it relates to the testing of samples for zika. More than seven samples have now been sent to the Trinidad-based laboratory, but there is a delay because CARPHA deals with testing for the entire Caribbean region. But the U.S. Center for Disease Control has placed a travel notice on the country which puts Belize among the countries with transmission of zika because of a couple that visited the south in March. This morning, the Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero explained that the Ministry is undertaking a preparedness plan.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We have one sample that we have confirmed with CARPHA that is there which is our initial case investigation from the southern part of Belize and we sent a further seven samples, I believe, this week. That’s where we are in terms of the current testing for zika. But we more than likely will be undertaking further testing for samples that we were studying through the MCH department for fever and rash, who may meet the criteria, but that is a discussion that’s going to start with CARPHA now. We sent forty-seven samples last week for different things; it is not just zika that goes to CARPHA. So because people were asking when the results are going to come out, but you also have to go through a wait list because CARPHA process samples for the entire Caribbean region. So it is not that it gets there and people are going to process your sample immediately; it doesn’t work like that. We haven’t had a confirmed case, which is what we have been saying. Neighboring Quintana Roo also hasn’t reported a confirmed case and I don’t think Mexico has, other than two states that are bordering with Guatemala, they have not reported localized transmission of zika; they have reported imported cases. The interesting thing with maps though is that, you are right, Belize is one of the last countries to be colored. But the U.S. has more cases that us and they haven’t colored themselves; if you will. And I think they have localized transmission; they are not coloring themselves.”

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