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Dec 6, 2023

Two Students Treated for Meningitis

Melissa Diaz-Musa

A nine-year old child is critically ill in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, diagnosed with meningitis, a life-threatening illness that affects the spinal cord and the tissues around the brain, and can be infectious and deadly. And today, a second child, aged five, who shares the same day-care facility with the nine-year-old, also fell ill with similar but less severe symptoms as the first. The index case, a student of United Evergreen Primary School, fell ill last Wednesday with flu-like symptoms and headache, but his condition deteriorated and he was brought to Belize City for medical attention. Today, the Ministry of Health’s Director of Public Health and Wellness, Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa, told the media via a virtual press conference that health officials have ensured that the school of the first child has been sanitized and steps have been taken to minimize a spread of the disease.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director of Public Health & Wellness

“We had contacted the school, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and we’re currently working closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure that our recommendations are being done and which we do know for certain with you with United Evergreen. They had closed the classroom for 24 hours and did a full infection prevention and control procedure for the classroom. Further to that, yes, this morning early we were notified of a second child who presented to Western Regional Hospital with similar symptoms: fever, headache and vomiting as well. The doctor who received this child, in the early hours of this morning is a pediatrician at Western Region. She was aware of the other case, and she swiftly started medication and did the medical management as per protocol. The second child, we do not have a preliminary diagnosis at this point because we’re waiting for certain tests to come back, but because the symptoms are similar, and because we have what we call an epidemiological link to the first child, we are treating at this point as a probable meningitis case. The second child is stable – well – he doesn’t have, the child doesn’t have any fever at this point and is currently admitted. So those are the two cases that we are aware of about. Those are the only two cases that we’re aware of.”


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