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#335660 - 05/02/09 12:34 PM Belize continues to remain free of swine flu cases
Marty Offline
In an effort to further shield its residents and travelers against the swine flu, which is now being referred to as influenza A (H1N1), Belize is taking additional proactive steps towards protection against the pandemic. One such act is the closing of the Belize Free Zone and casinos in the town of Corozal, which borders Mexico. That effort, which was done in collaboration with the Mexican authorities, is just one of many vigilant measures that Belize's Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have taken.

To date, Belizean officials have not been advised of any confirmed influenza A (H1N1) cases in the country. Due to the thorough measures Belizean authorities have taken and continue to take, various cases are currently under investigation, and have been sent for testing. At least 50 percent of those cases tested have been reported back to Belizean authorities as being negative. All results of remaining cases are scheduled to be reported by the Belize Ministry of Health later today.

The BTB is working intimately with local health authorities to monitor any new developments, and is also maintaining close contact with all Belizean hotel and tour operators to ensure they are fully educated and prepared for any questions from tourists regarding the situation.

The BTB continues to welcome travelers to Belize and is fully prepared to address any questions and/or concerns about traveling to the country during this time. Travelers are encouraged to call the BTB's toll-free number, 1-800-624-0686.

#335661 - 05/02/09 12:36 PM Re: Belize continues to remain free of swine flu cases [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

No H1N1 Swine Flu Cases in Belize

doctor-jorge-polanco-belize.jpgBelmopan, Belize 2 May (Belizean.com) The Deputy Director of Health Services in Belize Dr. Jorge Polanco has today confirmed that there are no confirmed cases of the H1N1 flue virus in Belize. Dr, Polanco said that there are 4 "cases of interest" but so far laboratory tests have come back as negative,

Belize has reacted aggressively against the virus by closing down the Free Zone and casinos at the border with Mexico and implementing a ban on all mass events within Belize including the National Agriculture and Trade Show.

#336439 - 05/08/09 12:18 PM Re: Belize continues to remain free of swine flu cases [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Ministry of Health Status Report of Response Influenza A (H1N1)

Belmopan. May 5th, 2009 12:00 noon


1. The Corozal Freezone will be re-opened as of May 6, 2009 from 7am - 6pm with heightened surveillance.

2. Casinos in the Corozal Freezone will remain closed until May 11, 2009. Bars and discothèques within the Casinos will be closed until May 11, 2009.

3. Mass gatherings are being discouraged countrywide.

Public Awareness

A Press Conference was called by Ministry of Health on May 4, 2009 with the main objective of informing the public of the negative results reported by CAREC of the first 16 samples sent there for testing for Influenza A (H1N1) virus and to advise to maintain level of vigilance.

At 5:00 pm another meeting was called by Director of Health Services with the objective of sharing with key stakeholders the latest information of confirmed positive cases in neighbouring Quintana Roo Mexican State. Three (3) cases have been confirmed positive in the following localities: Carrillo Puerto (1), Calderitas (1) and Cancun (1); there are 39 suspected and 11 cases hospitalized in Quintana Roo. Present in the meeting were CEO Ministry of Education, representatives from NEMO, Customs, Immigraton, Regional Managers, and associates from Ministry of Health and KHMH.

It was agreed that all stakeholders will continue to watch the pattern of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus transmission in Mexico and the Mexican response to be in a better position for making informed decisions.

Intersectoral Coordination

Customs Department was requested to liaise with Chief Pharmacist regarding the importation of Tamiflu and other drugs used for flu management. On the topic of Immigration, the issue of Pre-boarding and Arrival Screening was tabled for continued support by Immigration Officers .


14 new samples were sent to CAREC on May 4, 2009 from the Belize, Orange Walk and Cayo Districts.

Surveillance activities for Influenza Like Illness continues throughout the country.

There are no cases of Influenza A (H1N1) in CAREC member countries.

#336933 - 05/13/09 09:18 AM Re: Belize continues to remain free of swine flu cases [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
30,000 Doses of Tamiflu Arrives in Belize

Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize are now the only countries in Central and North America that have still not recorded any positive cases of the H1N1 virus. But some experts say that it is not a matter of “if” it will appear in Belize, but “when.” And if they are right, when it does, there will be some remedy as the Ministry of Health today announced that it has received a donation of a little over three-thousand treatment courses of Tamiflu from the Pan American Health Organization. Each course is about 10 pills.

The shipment which is valued at over one-hundred thousand dollars was handed over at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Belmopan today. It will be available free of cost – but it will only be distributed to fill prescriptions for those who have been identified by doctors as suspected cases. To be effective, Tamiflu must be administered within two days of the appearance of symptoms.

Up to the end of last week, only two persons had been prescribed Tamiflu in Belize and both those cases came back negative. The total number of confirmed cases of H1N1 recorded worldwide are 5251 in 30 countries. Mexico has recorded 56 deaths.

Channel 7

#338207 - 05/21/09 01:21 AM Re: Belize continues to remain free of swine flu c [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize still free of Influenza A (H1N1)

The Ministry of Health held a press conference at the Central Regional Laboratory in Belize City this afternoon on the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreak that is affecting forty-one countries around the world including countries as far as Israel and Japan and as close as our neighbouring Mexico’s bordering state of Quintana Roo. There are ten thousand two hundred and forty-three cases confirmed in the world along with eighty deaths. The news coming out of today’s conference is that Belize is still free of Influenza A (H1N1) and that mass gatherings such as the Morgan Heritage concert and the Agricultural Show can proceed as originally planned.

Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services
“In terms of numbers quickly and this is where most people want to be. We need to say that there are no confirmed cases of H1N1 in Belize. The facts that we have on the ground is that we have sent forty-six tests to CAREC and all came back negative. Over yesterday we sent one additional test for a case of interest. The last weekend we have no demand for new tests. In terms of what are the facts for the disease is that it is becoming clearer and clearer that this disease is acting more like seasonal influenza but you just need to be reminded it’s another virus so there's significant lack of immunity. There's no vaccine so the burden for this disease seems as though it will fit a pattern where we have morbidity than mortality, more illness than deaths. In terms of our own domestic affairs, we have moved to the response and these are some of the things we would want people to bear in mind. We are now saying that we will allow mass gathering, but we want people to bear in mind the hygiene practices that we spoke about; the hand washing, the cough etiquette, the fact that if you are ill you will try to avoid going to these mass gatherings and instead you go to your doctor.”

Jose Sanchez
“Concerning the surveillance at the borders and the international airport, has anything changed? I know you have been very vigilant so far.”

Dr. Paul Edwards, Epidemiologist
“When we—our response definitely necessitates for it to be evidence based. When we looked at the situation in Mexico returning to normal, the decision was made that we will not continue our surveillance; there is not a need for the surveillance at the airport nor at the border entry ports based on their reaction and the fact to the things that happened here in Belize. However, we will continue our surveillance at the health facilities. We want to be alert and those are the factors that will trigger us because that provides information for our endemic channels to be able to see when there is any new trend arising to be able to react in an appropriate and opportune fashion.”
Channel 5


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