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Jul 29, 2019

Confirmed Dengue Cases Continue to Spike in Belize

Health authorities continue to monitor the cases of dengue as the number of persons affected continues to spike across the country.  Today, the Director of Health Services confirmed to the media that in one week, there are approximately one hundred additional cases, bringing the data to seven hundred and nine persons who have tested positive for the disease.  Of concern is that the number reflects only those persons who have sought medical attention at public health facilities, but there is likely others who tested through private facilities and have not been recorded into the system as yet.  D.H.S. Doctor Marvin Manzanero explains.

 

Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Up to this time period last year, we only had one hundred and eleven cases so you would say that we have seven times more cases than we had up to this time period last year. And I think in some of the data that we shared last year is that for the years 2017 and 2018 combined, we have doubled the cases this year. So that’s the preliminary data that we have. We update that routinely every Monday and by midday we should have the final tally every week. Of course those are only cases that are captured in the electronic system because you will have a good amount of people who are not going to go to the public facility and also you might have a delay because the private sector, even though they do their reports, those are manual reports which we go and collect routinely every week. We just take a little bit longer to upload into the system. The mathematical modules for the Caribbean had suggested that this was going to happen, so from March of this year, we have been making our rounds in terms of what we can do at the health system. So the surveillance system was activated from March of this year. All the regions have their own specific dengue plans that have been set in place, but in reality this is a prevention measure. It is not really what the Ministry of Health alone is going to do. You don’t want people showing up in your health system with complicated cases. Ideally you want people to not get dengue.”


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