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#473838 - 10/02/13 11:04 AM H1N1 Detected In Belize
Marty Online   happy
H1N1 - three years ago in September of 2009 it created a public panic as the Swine Flu. Since then the hysteria has subsided, but the H1N1 virus lives on. It's been detected in a number of Caribbean Countries in the past month - and Barbados today reported one death from H1N1. Well, it's also been detected in Belize.

Now, health authorities say there's no reason to panic - h1n1 was also detected in Belize last year and there were no deaths. Same for this year - there have been no deaths. We discussed it via phone this evening with the man holding over the office of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Dr. Marvin Manzanero:...

Marvin Manzanero
"We have had cases of H1N1 last year and we some document already this year. What we haven't had is any mortality or excess morbidity associated to those cases, but we have cases of H1N1 in Belize."

Jules Vasquez
"How many do we have?"

Marvin Manzanero
"I don't have the full figure right now because I know that we are doing checks. When samples are taken countrywide they are sent to Central Medical Lab and we do a correlation of the total amount of samples on a weekly basis."

Jules Vasquez
"What is being done to treat and contain the cases here in Belize?"

Marvin Manzanero
"H1N1 is a sub-type of the Influenza virus; the Influenza is upper respiratory tract infection. Any case that is deemed to be clinically a potential case is screen."

Jules Vasquez
"What should the individual do to make sure he or she is not infected and if he or she does have a flu, what should they do to be on the safe side?"

Marvin Manzanero
"The typical flu signs or symptoms are something that would last - chest and cold, fever is there for 2-3 days. Those people who have consistently high fever, progressive respiratory distress and is not going away with the normal medications that we have - those patients should seek further medical attention."

Jules Vasquez
"Is it contagious? What should I do to make sure I don't get it?"

Marvin Manzanero
"It's the same mechanism as with any upper respiratory tract infection, that is of a viral nature - that's why it is difficult to contain. The measures that we have highlighted 2-3 years ago when H1N1 started with people washing their hands, sneezing; all those elements that you use normally to prevent further infectious cases with the respiratory tract are the ones you need to set in place."

Manzanero told us he would get back to us on numbers. Barbados is reporting four cases and St. Vincent 6.

Channel 7


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#476163 - 11/01/13 06:28 AM Re: H1N1 Detected In Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

New Influenza Virus Emerging; Health Officials Updates Plan

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) is conducting a workshop session today with health care professionals and other key personnel from the Customs and Police Departments. The key objective of the workshop is to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses.

Jorge Polanco

“The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) is conducting a workshop session today with health care professionals and other key personnel from the Customs and Police Departments. The key objective of the workshop is to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses.”

Polanco explained that the Influenza virus should be taken seriously as it carries certain risks especially to those most vulnerable such as children and the elderly.

JORGE POLANCO

“The influenza in itself, the history of this H1N1 when it first came into the region is that it has been mild; it has presented itself in a very mild form.  So, that’s good news but of course the risk is that any influenza virus whether it’s the H1N1 or any other strain, if it would attack vulnerable groups, for example, the elderly or persons with chronic diseases or persons with a low immune response or even children, of course the signs and symptoms could be different; it could be moderate to severe and this is a concern but I must say the ministry has been strengthened over the past 3 to 4 years.  A national surveillance system whereby we detect on a day to day basis at the health care facilities, all those influenza like illnesses and we also have a very strict surveillance within the hospital facilities of which we call SARI the Severe Acute Respiratory Illness.  One of the objectives of that surveillance is to be able to detect in a very timely manner the influenza and be able to detect what  the specific pathogen is that is causing it.”

The Influenza Response Plan will include key components such as surveillance and preparedness, clinical and laboratory diagnosis and infection control procedures.

LOVEFM


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