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Feb 28, 2020

Tracking COVID-19

As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world, two cases have now been confirmed in neighbouring Mexico. Belize continues to be spared of an outbreak but local health authorities, however, are taking no chances and are monitoring the situation in Mexico.  One patient is isolated in a hospital while the other is in isolation at a hotel.  Mexican health authorities have asked the population to remain calm and avoid spreading rumours which can be detrimental in the containment of the cases.  While Belize remains free of any cases, medical professionals describe the origin of the latest outbreak, as well as its symptoms.


Jorge Hidalgo

Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Intensivist

“The corona virus, as we know, belongs to a family that most of the time lives in animals, however, we have two corona viruses already one in 2002, that’s basically SARS and in 2012 we had the MERS that basically started in the Middle East and most recently we have the corona virus that originated in Wuhan, in China.  We understand that it basically came from live animals in the fish market that they have, but after that we noticed that the virus was also spreading person to person and into the healthcare personnel.  And just to simplify, the corona virus is like a table tennis ball, but the corona virus has those spikes that attach to the tennis ball and some of these spikes can essentially attach to our body.  It could be to our nose when we touch our face and we essentially open the doors for the virus to enter, but in this particular case, this corona virus, the spikes, we can say the orange spikes, those attach to the lung cells and the problem comes when it’s attached already to the lung cells.  They then have the tendency to use the genetic information and make many copies of the virus and then it makes us sick and the moment that we are sick then we start to develop the symptoms that most commonly are respiratory symptoms.  We start sneezing and coughing but also we can start with shortness of breath and that is essentially when the problem comes.”

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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