By Aaron Humes: Belize’s health worries are not over, as according to Cabinet the Ministry of Health and Wellness has been asked to prepare a report for its next meeting on the Ministry’s level of readiness for the monkeypox virus and Marburg virus disease which is being monitored in Africa.
A case of monkeypox was confirmed in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico recently, as well as surrounding states. Per a notice on the Ministry’s Facebook page, monkeypox is a viral infection that causes headache, fever, muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash or bumps. It spreads through close contact with infected persons and items they touch such as clothing, sheets, towels, and so on. Persons infected must isolate for at least three to four weeks which is the amount of time it takes for scabs to heal and disappear.
The Marburg virus causes a hemorrhagic fever. It was first identified in 1967 and is named for the city where it was found in Germany. Outbreaks since then have been reported in the former Soviet Union and countries in central Africa, with two cases reported this year in Ghana.
The Ministry says, “Those at higher risk for severe disease or complications include people who are pregnant, children, and persons that are immunocompromised.” Those believed infected may call 0-800-MOH-CARE for assistance.
In other health news, Belize is closing in on 53 percent of the population being vaccinated at least once for COVID-19 and 50.6 percent fully vaccinated. This includes 45.8 percent of the population 12 to 17 and 7.2 percent of the population five to eleven, as well as nearly 50 thousand booster shots. There are currently 644 active cases (689 as of the time of the Cabinet meeting) and 680 deaths reported.