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Aug 30, 2016

Is Zika on the Rise? Cases Reported in Caye Caulker, Benque and Succotz

Marvin Manzanero

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on Zika. In mid June, the first confirmed case of zika was recorded in Belize in the west. Since then, there have been over thirty cases, ten of which are from the island of Caye Caulker. Even before the realization of zika in Belize, interventions were put in place by the Vector Control Unit of the Ministry of Health.  But recently, there have been reports of an increase in the number of residents accessing the polyclinic on Caye Caulker with symptoms similar to that of the zika infection. Today, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero confirmed that similar cases have been detected in Benque and Succotz.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“It is closer to ten or more than ten that we have confirmed since the first cases in early June. I believe we have gotten close to thirty samples that have come back positive for zika. I am aware of one pregnant female from the Cayo district that tested positive for zika and we were following up on a case of a patient that had a miscarriage and we were able to document zika after the fact. But that becomes a little bit cagey because we weren’t able to get the data in real time. You are right in that you are seeing more cases of rash and conjunctivitis—more than rash and fever—in Caye Caulker. We are seeing some number of cases in Benque; Succotz area as well. I know that people are going to the health facility, but you have to understand that we are not normally doing routine testing for zika. That means that not everybody that’s going into health facilities is going to be tested for zika. For now, actually, because it is an expensive test, we are basically going to concentrate on pregnant women and do testing on pregnant women. That is the main area of concern for us.”

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