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Jan 29, 2016

DHS Confirms Unexplained Deaths At the K.H.M.H.

Marvin Manzanero

There are far more questions than answers available tonight from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where various persons have died in the past four months due to an unknown illness.  What we know so far is the following. The matter came to light during a meeting of the Hospital’s management this Wednesday. Four persons died between October and November last year. Three patients were transferred to the K.H.M.H. from Corozal, Toledo, San Pedro and one is from Belize City including an eight year old boy living with down syndrome. All had flu like symptoms and stomach infections, but testing came back negative for H1N1. From information received, the patients reportedly were admitted with flu-like symptoms but their conditions deteriorated quickly to pneumonia and further complications which led to their deaths. This month, three others have died due to similar symptoms. While red flags are up, the Ministry of Health says it has been unable to ascertain any links between the unexplained deaths. We spoke today to the Director of Health Services who confirmed the deaths.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We did have an initial three and I believe four case actually last year, one was late October that came in from San Pedro and then we saw a couple of cases in November, one from PG and one from Corozal and one from Belize City actually. We are thinking about coming in and having similar finds of symptoms in terms of having upper respiratory tract infections and as you rightly said abdominal pain and diarrhea. However none of those cases came in a single week, for example they were spread out across five weeks and they all came from different geographic areas. One from Corozal, on from Toledo, one from San Pedro and one from Belize City, there was an initial suspicion of H1N1 or any other influenza virus for that matter. The Minister of Health in collaboration with K.H.M.H. did an investigation of the four cases to see if there was any link that we could identify and I must tell you that I believe two of the four cases did go on for testing in terms of influenza however they came back negative. I believe three patients actually died but we couldn’t associate an influenza or H1N1 cause. They seem to have died from a severe infection; we weren’t able to ascertain what the agent was. I must say that my office was alerted this Tuesday of three cases this year where people have had symptoms in terms of upper respiratory tract infection and diarrhea. There are also seemingly from our initial investigation, isolated, they are not linked but we do have to exercise due diligence in finding out what is the possible cause.”


Duane Moody

“Of the three that you guys have noted this year; have any of those persons died?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“I believe three have but as you will note if the data is reviewed from previous years, pneumonias and influenzas can be cause of deaths, flu can kill people if it is not treated of treated in due time. But as I said we haven’t found any link or possible cause that would warrant us to give any specific education other than the normal cough etiquette and the normal information we have in terms of flu.”


Duane Moody

“So it’s a total of six deaths from the seven persons that have exhibited these symptoms?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero


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1 Response for “DHS Confirms Unexplained Deaths At the K.H.M.H.”

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