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#494824 - 08/21/14 05:45 AM Dengue in Belize
Marty Offline

Dengue Spikes, Public Health Sprays

There was an increase in Dengue cases in July in the South side of Belize City. The Public Health Department is responding with a series of Ultra Low Volume spraying sessions in the most affected areas in Belize City.

And while the ULV spray is not exactly air-freshener grade, don’t close your windows!!
This afternoon, the public health officers discussed this and more at a public health education event:

Javier Alpuche , Senior Public Health Inspector

"We have a total of 6 vehicles, which will be deployed starting this evening to conduct ULV spray in the entire southside Belize City at first then we move on to Northside Belize City.
in terms of the schedule we conduct 3 consecutive sprays which will be this evening, tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening there by we do what we call a maintenance spray 7 days after."

Egner Lanin, District Supervisor, Central Health Region

"In regards of assisting is the Ministry of Health, a matter of fact when we conduct our ULV spray, always remember to keep your doors and windows open so that the chemical gets into your home because the type of mosquitos that we are dealing with is domestic mosquitos and this mosquitos of course live inside our homes. Many of times when we spray, we see people closing their windows, closing up their doors because they don't want to smell the chemicals and that is not effective.We are also conducting as Mr. Alpuche mention thermo-fogging. The thermo-fogging activity is being done in the southside of the city where we have a lot of cases. Now a lot of people don't understand what is the purpose of thermo-fogging. Basically it is the same equipment but in a smaller version."

Francis Westby, Dengue Technical Adviser, Ministry of Health

"We are spraying really to break the transmission cycle of the dengue virus. Added value that we get out of that is controlling mosquitos. That is not the primary goal of the vector control programme; Of course it is good when we can control the mosquitos but we can never no matter many machines we put, we can never do it on our own, therefore we encourage people. We ask people if you fry fish, if you fry chicken throw a little bit of the burnt oil in the stagnant water around your yard or in front of your yard."

The vehicles were a donation from THE Global Fund.Eeach vehicle costs $75,000 while each ULV machine costs $32,000.

Channel 7

#494830 - 08/21/14 06:18 AM Re: Dengue in Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Dengue On the Rise in Belize City

Dengue is on the rise in Belize City…that’s the news coming out of the Public Health Sector. The Central Health Region is reporting that since July there has been a spike in the number of cases of persons affected with dengue hemorrhagic fever, specifically in south side Belize City. As a result, the Vector Control Unit is embarking on pesticide spraying within the city to address the increase and to eradicate the disease transmitting mosquito. 

Javier Alpuche, Senior Public Health Inspector

“We have intensified our vector control activities here in Belize City, but now we are intensifying even further to ensure that whatever progress that we’ve made is not lost but yet is maintained.”

Duane Moody

“How is this going to be done sir?”

Javier Alpuche

“As you can see behind us, we have a total of six vehicles which will be employed starting this evening to conduct spraying in the entire south side Belize City at first and then we move on to the north side Belize City.”

Duane Moody

“Now you said that there has been an increase in the amount of dengue cases. Could you tell us about when you started to see that spike and how many persons so far that have been affected by this disease?”

Javier Alpuche

Javier Alpuche

“The exact figure, I might not be able to share with you right now, but we started the spiking case in July; around mid-July to the end of July is when we noticed that the increase of cases was appearing and that’s when we came together and we started focusing our efforts in the areas where the cases were coming from. We have been doing the ULV spraying with the vehicles and machines that we have in Belize City; we have been doing larvae-ciding of all drains and stagnant water. We have been doing premises inspection in these areas as well as thermal spraying. We have been thermal spraying especially those areas where we have cases. The equipment here is assistance that we are receiving at this moment from Northern Region where they are assisting us with three machine and three vehicles so that we can have the six vehicles spraying this evening.”


“Sir is this enough? Six vehicles for the entire Belize district? What is the schedule of spraying…every night, every other night?”

Javier Alpuche

“No it is never enough. If we have more vehicles, we’ll be able to cover the entire south side and north side Belize City simultaneously. But with six vehicles, we are focusing on the south side where we have the problem area and then we will be doing the north side.”


“The schedule as well?”

Javier Alpuche

“In terms of the schedule, we conduct three consecutive sprays which will be this evening, tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening and then we’ll do a maintenance spray seven days after.”

Vector Control Unit to Commence Mass Spraying

Egner Lalin

According to the Health Unit, the spike, in most cases, is due to the lack of maintenance of property in south side Belize City. District Supervisor of the Central Health Region, Egner Lalin, says that prevention measures remain the same and gave additional advice to the public when they go around spraying.

Egner Lalin, District Supervisor, Central Health Region

“Prevention measures remain the same to ensure that everybody does their part in cleaning their yards. In regards to assisting us and the Ministry of Health, as a matter of fact, whenever we are conducting our ULV spray, always remember to keep your doors and windows open so that the chemicals get into your homes because the type of mosquito that we are dealing with is a domestic mosquito and this mosquito lives inside our doors. Many of times when we spray, we see people closing their windows or their doors because they don’t want to smell the chemicals, but that is not productive or that is not effective. So we are asking the public to open your windows and doors especially during the evening time because that is the peak when we have majority of mosquitoes biting.  We are also conducting thermal fogging and these activities are being done in the south side Belize City where there are more cases. A lot of people don’t understand what is the purpose of thermal fogging. It is the same process but in a smaller version. It is a smoke and it is targeting the infected mosquito that is inside your house. So whenever we identify a case, a positive case, we go into that house, we do necessary interventions. We ensure that we have no positive containers with wiggle waggles or larvae as it is and positive mosquitoes that are infected.”

Representatives from Central Health Region will appear on Open Your Eyes on Thursday morning to discuss the spike in the cases of the dengue disease. 

Channel 5

#496677 - 10/10/14 02:27 PM Re: Dengue in Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Nearly 700 cases of dengue nationally

Roughly 700 cases of dengue have been documented in Belize since the year began, and while this figure is substantially lower than the amount of cases documented in the 2010 outbreak in Belize, the data include an unusually high percentage of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases, according to the Ministry of Health.

As we reported to you last week, 77 cases of DHF had been documented in the City between January and September 2014, and 82% of dengue cases reported for the district had actually been reported out of Belize City and primarily out of three hot spots on the Southside.

We were unable to get the national data when we requested it last week, but those details were provided by the Ministry of Health at a press conference in Belize City today.

They indicated that just over half of the cases (365) were recorded in the Belize District. Corozal was the district with the second highest number of cases (170), with Cayo the third highest. Orange Walk recorded the least cases (12), followed by Toledo (16) and then Stann Creek (41). These data reflect figures obtained by the Ministry up to Friday, October 3, 2014.

Although no deaths have been attributed to dengue so far this year, the Ministry of Health is investigating the death of Maria Larios, 13, who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital over a week ago, after seeking medical attention for what appeared to be dengue.

Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, said that on Sunday night, he was told that there was a likely case of DHF death, but the post-mortem results were inconclusive. He said that the child—whose family is alleging that the manner in which a tube was inserted into the child’s throat had caused her lung to puncture—also had other medical conditions.

The Ministry of Education says that it has been engaging in enhanced surveillance (including daily visits to health centers, hospitals and laboratories), case investigation, intensified spraying of insecticide, thermal fogging, elimination of breeding sites, and treatment of water storage containers and health education.

Interventions have also included spraying of schools, public places and tire repair shops; larviciding of drains and stagnant water; and the distribution of bed nets.

In the case of Corozal, the swampy areas of Libertad showed a high proportion of dengue cases, Pitts told us.

He said that Belize City is divided into 9 zones, and the bulk of the dengue cases were in three zones on the Southside of Belize City.

“Over time, we found that cases began increasing around June and reached a peak around two weeks ago,” said Pitts.

The interventions require community action to reduce breeding sites for mosquitos, he added.

Concerns have been heightened with the spread of an emerging disease, with high morbidity but low fatality, carried by the same mosquito vector which spreads dengue – Chikungunya, also known as Chik-V, which causes severe pain.

Pitts said that in Belize City, they continue to see a lot of risky activities and a lot of clutter and receptacles that allow for the breeding of the offending Aedis egypti and Aedis albopictus mosquitos.

Last weekend, the Ministry of Health embarked on a major clean-up campaign on the Southside to try and mitigate the spread of dengue, said Pitts.

“Most of what we do with dengue will pay dividends for Chikungunya,” said Pitts.

He noted that while no case had yet been confirmed in Belize, Chik-V has moved through the whole Caribbean and has also been seen in Miami and more recently, next door in Guatemala.

Pitts notes that while Chik-V appears to mimic dengue, there is a cardinal difference: the extent of the pain in the hands, feet and back, causing patients to be in cramped or crouched over positions; as well as body rashes.

Chikungunya has also been showing up in parts of Jamaica, where many Belizean students are currently studying.

“As they move back and forth, they too can be sources of introduction of the new virus, and those who visit neighboring countries have to also be mindful as well,” Pitts cautioned.

Ministry of Health officials have said that tests done on a patient who had been tested using a test kit in the private sector revealed that the person had not contracted Chik-V, as the rapid test had indicated.

Pitts said that health officials visited the patient and did further screening, but the result was negative.

Ministry of Health officials say that there is currently no reliable rapid test for the detection of Chik-V. The Ministry sends samples for the testing of suspected cases to CARPHA – the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad and Tobago.



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