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Aug 14, 2019

2 Suspected Maternal Deaths Due to Dengue in Belize

Natalia Largaespada Beer

There are two maternal deaths in Belize suspected to be the result of dengue fever. That’s the information coming out of the Ministry of Health tonight, several weeks after an outbreak was detected in the country. The two cases were recorded in Carmelita, Orange Walk and in the southern municipality of Dangriga, which are areas where there has been a spike in confirmed clinical cases of the mosquito-borne illness. In the case from Orange Walk, the first-time mother gave birth three weeks ago and passed away earlier this week, having exhibited symptoms of dengue. Even as an investigation is underway to confirm whether in fact the deaths are as a result of dengue, Maternal and Child Health Technical Advisor of the Ministry of Education, Doctor Natalia Largaespada Beer says that it is one death too many.

 

Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Maternal & Child Health Technical Advisor, MOH

“Unfortunately, we have maternal death with signs and symptoms compatible with dengue, but still under investigation. But the most important message that I would like to share is that dengue is preventable. We sympathize with the family, it is a terrible loss; it is not what the ministry is looking for. Maternal health is high on our agenda so when cases like these occur, it is difficult to digest. Right now the outbreak is not only occurring in Belize. The entire Central American sub-region; in fact, one hundred countries worldwide are experiencing the dengue outbreaks. Just to compare with Honduras. Honduras has thirty-two thousand cases up to last week of dengue and out of that; they recorded fifty-seven deaths. And of those fifty-seven deaths, seventy-five percent are among children. So pregnant women also or women who just deliver, still in the postpartum period, they have a higher risk of complications. And when we have so many different types of dengue circulating, it makes it a bit more difficult to manage.”


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