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Jan 15, 2014

Although there are 3 confirmed cases, swine flu is not pandemic to Belize

Francis Murray

At this time of the year, there is increased influenza activity so there is need for caution by the public. Back in 2009, there was a scare due to an outbreak of swine flu in neighboring Mexico and other parts of the world. The virus caused many deaths throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S.  According to data provided, the particular strain of influenza was confirmed in Belize in 2011 and 2012. But according to the ministry, it is not the predominant virus to be affecting Belize during the flu season.


Dr. Francis Murray, Focal Point for Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health

“We might be getting different strains and we might be getting a strain that has mutated and that has changed its virulence and its pathogenicity all over again. And hence we would be able to say that our strain is much more lethal, will be producing a high mortality rate compared to what we might get in country. And hence that is one of the factors why we send samples to CARPHA for the actual sub-typing and hence for the geno-typing of the viruses affecting our country presently.  We basically have had a pattern in which I had recalled in the initial years of 2008 and 2009, we had approximately about two thousand or more cases described as possible H-one N-one. Last year alone, we had five hundred and seventeen individuals who were suspected cases of suffering from H-one N-one. The pattern that is found that has been sent to CARPHA is that we also have different viruses that are also circulating. And that we may also have along with the H-one N-one, we might have adenovirus, we might have respiratory syncitial virus. We can have meta-pneumonia virus. We can have a lot of series of viruses which are present. If I recall, let me just find something here. We also have that the mixture of—what WHO has reported—we may have concomitantly along with the H-one N-one adenovirus, meta-pneumonia virus or they can have parainfluenza viruses along with adenovirus or respiratory syncitial virus. So these are different viruses that can be also be simultaneously be affecting an individual that has been reported with the H-one N-one.”

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