Dengue on the rise as Health Ministry issues warning

Friday, August 7th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Belizean laboratories have confirmed 16% more cases of dengue fever, 261, over the first seven months of 2015 compared to those of 2014 when there were 225. Ministry of Health officials summoned the press for an update in Belmopan on Thursday.aedes aegypti

Dengue is endemic to Belize and Central America and the height of its reach is in the summer months from May to September.

According to the Ministry, the majority of cases are in Corozal Town and the corridor of villages from Caledonia to Santa Clara on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District, and outlying suburbs of Belmopan, Camalote and Teakettle in the east-central Cayo District.

While there are no confirmed deaths so far, there have been approximately fifteen alerts for the deadlier hemorrhagic strain of dengue. Those alerts, according to Chief Operations Officer Kim Bautista of the Vector Control Unit, are spread across the country. Since they are all clinically diagnosed, the number of cases doesn’t automatically mean that they have been confirmed as dengue hemorrhagic fever.

The Ministry has deployed its vector control teams countrywide, but residents especially in affected areas are reminded that they are the first line of defense: the Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the virus only lives in ideal nesting sites such as tires, drums, coconut shells and generally anywhere where there is fresh water.

Get rid of these and line the street side drains and swamps with used oil and the mosquitoes die out.

Smaller numbers of chikungunya and malaria, also mosquito-borne diseases, are being reported.

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