Chikungunya hits Belize

Medical officials in Belize say that it was only “a matter of time” and now three cases has been confirmed in Belize while many other cases are suspected. The disease has been raging through the Caribbean for months with some cases showing up in Florida as well.

“We can’t say 100% sure because the tests still have to go to Trinidad for confirmation, but the Ministry of Health has confirmed that three tests coming out of Las Flore sin Belmopan have tested positive in the CARPHA approved test. When we say CARPHA approved, we’re referring to the test administered by the Ministry of Health – and the one approved by the Caribbean Public Health Agency” said the Director of Health Services in a media briefing according to Belize government officials.
“Out of the 11 we had 3 reactive by the screen and now we are sending it for confirmation. I will tell you it is heading in the direction that we think it would go because the population, we are finding these preliminary tests positive from Las Flores where we have a lot of people traveling to Salvador and as you know Salvador have a lot of cases. We have increased our level of activities in terms of house to house inspection and spraying in the areas. I can’t speculate. It’s just to say that Chikungunya can have a high attack rate. This is what I’ve been saying from November last year and this is why we need everybody on board to manage the situation, “ said Pitts.
According to reports, there are 540 houses in Las Flores and so far the Ministry of Health has visited 84% of them doing vector control activities while also removing containers where larvae thrive.
The three positive samples along with another sample from a suspect persons will be sent on Monday to CARPHA in Trinidad. It should take one week but the last test Belize sent has been there almost two weeks according to reports and was recently forwarded to the Centres For Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt fever accompanied by severe joint pain along with muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. It is similar to dengue in symptoms, but the joint pain is more severe.

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