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Aug 9, 2022

While No Monkeypox Case Present Yet; Chickenpox Cases Increase

While there’s no reported case of Monkeypox in Belize, the Ministry of Health is preparing its staff, primarily at the various points of entry in Belize to be alert to symptoms on potential patients. But in a sharp twist, there’s an increase in the number of chickenpox cases, primarily among children at this time, and the rashes between Monkeypox and chickenpox are similar.


Melissa Musa

Dr. Melissa Musa, Dir., Public Health & Wellness, Min. of Health & Wellness

“We do know that it’s unlikely that the cases will be detected at the borders, just because of the way that it’s spread, and you may be carrying the virus but not show any rash at that point. Obviously persons with an obvious rash our staff would pick up very easily at the border points but I think that those persons even at the check-ins and in the U.S or wherever they’re boarding, that they will also be pulled aside by the surveillance team over there. So we’re thinking that more than likely these persons would present at one of our health facilities, having come in with the prodrome – with the fever and the generalized aches and pains and then develop the rash a few days after, which is usually what is seen with Monkeypox, so we have our staff on the ground at our health facilities. We shared our guidelines with private sector as well, they’re aware about testing and how to get the swabs to our Central Medical Lab as well, so everybody has their guard up. And we’ve got to keep in mind as well that chicken pox is something quite common and young children are presenting to their pediatricians and to our health facilities with a suspicious rash but it’s usually diagnosed as chickenpox. At least for the last few weeks we’ve seen quite a few chickenpox cases. We’ve had one or two adults as well with chickenpox.”


Marion Ali

“Ok so it’s not to be confused – do the rashes look similar?”


Dr Melissa Musa

“They may look similar because it depends on what stage the person presents in. It’s a similar kind of blister-looking rash and usually the distribution is also similar. With Monkeypox we tend to see that prodrome with fever, muscle aches, feeling unwell, feeling tired, and a few days after a rash may start on the face and then spread to the rest of the body, very similar in the way how other infectious diseases may start – with the fever, with the generalized body aches, feeling very exhausted – many rashes start very similarly and then the rash might come out a few days after as well with chickenpox.”


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