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Jun 5, 2019

Health Officials Monitoring Measles Threat

Marvin Manzanero

Health officials in Belize are keeping a close eye to any and all potential threat of measles from neighboring Mexico. Two months ago, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory informing the public that the threat of measles continues to grow for Belize with neighboring countries reporting cases. Last week, a British tourist landed in Playa del Carmen and fell ill, contracting the disease. Mexican health officials there are fairly confident that there will be no further spread in relation to that particular case. But health officials here are taking no chance. Measles is passed easily from person to person and anyone who is unvaccinated is at risk of getting the disease. While Belize has no reported cases, Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero says that the best way to keep it that way is continued vaccination coverage across the country.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services, M.O.H.

“We have been trying to scale up our measles vaccine coverage across the country. We have had surveillance teams on alert. We have been sharing the regional report that comes to us on a weekly basis and today there is a meeting that has region management teams, surveillance offices, public health inspectors and ground personnel that can be potential frontline persons to be on the lookout for potential cases. We actually had done an investigation last week of two rash cases that were detected in the Spanish Lookout area that turned out to be dengue and one of those agro-viruses. We are following all fever and rash cases consistently across the country. So it is just maintain a high alert surveillance system and trying to educate frontline personnel, health staff and the general public. I think our defense remains high vaccination coverage.”

 

Measles starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough and “Pink Eye.” The rash appears three to four days after the fever starts, usually spreading from head to toe.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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