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Jul 20, 2010

Private practice doctors say dengue has reached epidemic proportions

fernando cuellar

Also sitting on the couch this morning were two doctors practicing in private hospitals where a number of dengue cases have been detected but have not made it to the Public Information System. They both agree that there is an epidemic.

Marleni Cuellar

“Have you been seeing an increase in the number of cases, in this year alone?”

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist, Belize Medical Associates

“Absolutely, there’s no doubt that since last year we’ve seen a big jump, big rise in the number of cases we’ve been seeing. I would say loosely, I was seeing between ten and twenty per year of dengue cases and now it’s almost two hundred since the year began. So, it’s been a big increase.”

William Neal

“What accounts for this? And I don’t know what the terminology is. I am not sure if it an epidemic or what is it and why do we see these spikes occurring from year to year and in such a drastic manner?

Dr. Victor Rosado, Pediatrician

“Right now if we are seeing three hundred and seventy-nine reported cases for the first seven months of the year, definitely that is far above what we would expect and that would constitute an epidemic—speaking from a public health point of view. When you talk about an outbreak, you are talking about an increase in a number of cases in a very localized geographic area. Let’s say an outbreak in a village or a hepatitis outbreak in a school because the person who serves in a cafeteria had Hepatitis A. That’s basically the difference between an outbreak and an epidemic.”

Dr. Fernando Cuellar

“There has always been a problem with statistics in Belize, but we should listen to what is going on around us and take action for it. I think whatever I say may be speculation on my part; but I thinking that they’ve just not paid attention to it really for the past year and I think Dr. Pitts could have come out earlier and said, “listen, no panic need to be considered here; but we’ve seen a serious increase in the number of cases of Dengue. Dis dah wah public health announcement, unu please clean unu yaad. Please si if unu cud infaam unusleves more about dengue”, those kind of things nuh; not until we hear about supposedly deaths related to dengue, for example with the child, this big lot of attention being paid to that.”

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