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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 36
OP Offline
We are from the Pacific Northwest area and love the Tropical Destinations and particularly Belize and are hoping to spend more extended time there in the near future. We have been visiting this board for many years now tho have not posted much. It is a great information source and thank you all for the information we have collected.

My question now relates to the West Nile Disease that is being transmitted by mosquitos. We have been hearing about the westward migration of the disease and the authorities have indicated that we may find evidence of it either this summer or next. I have not heard or read anything about this on this board or any other and wonder if anyone knows the status. I am not trying to creat new fears and concerns but simply wonder if this is yet another disease to add to possibilities like malaria etc. Just curious.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,268
Well, the first question would be... how long do you intend on staying in Belize? If you're just going down as a normal, regular tourist and staying a week on the island, then I wouldn't even bother getting any shots... you don't need them.

If you're going into the interior for a week stay, it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. You really don't need any for that either.

If you are going for an extended period of time... weeks... then you would need them.

You kind of answered your own questions when you stated "I have not heard about this on this board or any other"... if it's not on here then don't worry about it.

[Disclaimer] if you do not get any shots and you get malaria or West Nile Virus or any other tropical disease, etc., etc., I cannot and will not be held responsible. Plus I don't have any money to sue me for.

Plus also... laugh... you said you didn't mean to create any new fears or cocerns... laugh Now really... if you've been reading this section of the board and seen the postings on here you should know that no one on here has any concerns or fears about anything. Well except for the dreaded Bill Thornton disease... sorry, no known cure for that. eek

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 8
West Nile has not been isolated in Belize. Horse and bird forms have been found in Mexico and El Salvador.

In any case, don't worry about it. The transmission rate is really quite low, and even if you catch it, the normal course is more annoying than anything. Severe disease and death in humans is RARE, mostly in those with bad immune systems, the very young and the very old.

Routine mozzie bite prevention is all that is needed.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 329
Tom Offline
Well,I am looking forward to getting out of Texas and down to Belize to get away from the dreaded West Nile (we have our fare share here).
I have spent time in San Pedro since 1991 and for various periods of time and never felt the need for shots. You should always check with your personal physician just to be on the safe side he hoefully knows your needs but doubtfully knows much about Belize.
During the times I spent in San Pedro inclided the onset and aftermath of Hurricane Mitch and Hurricane Keith. No medical problems there even with the limited resources available during those times. You do have to use some common sense when in areas that have high consentrations of mosquitoes (repellant with deet) or other precautions.
I will have to add the same disclaimer as Denny, I too have NO MONEY so it would do you no good to try to sue me. Remember Common Sense Common Sense.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 36
OP Offline
Thanks everyone for your comments. I guess I did sorta indicate that I was personally concerned about West Nile because I referred to Malaria I can see why you all responded on precautions etc.

What I was mostly interested in tho, was if the disease has made its way to Belize and other tropical destinations generally, as you've now confirmed Dr. Brown. It is my understanding that West Nile affects many species of birds and although humans can be at risk, we have insect repellant that works quite well to control these pests. I am curious how this disease is affecting the birds and other animals?

I heard also, that there are vaccines for horses etc here in the NorthWest. Don't really know how the disease affects animals, but I know that many birds die once they are exposed to it. I guess its simply an animal lover question. Not sure if there is anything to be done about it ... except to try and control the mosquito population.

Denny - yes I have read that once we experience Belize, (as we have a few years ago, we spent a month there - loved it and are desperately trying to make it back soon and then hopefully make a move, if we can swing it, or to at least to do a trial living period,) there really is nothing to worry about and life will never be the same again once you catch the Belize fever!)

Life's too short to worry.. especially about things we can't control! Friends ask when we are going back again, and my standard reply is "I go there everyday, in my mind" I have tried to maintain a Belizean state of mind since we spent the month there, but its getting more and more difficult - hopefully sometime this year or early next, we can take a trip.

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 295
WHOA good buddy, correct me if i am wrong but west nile seems to be --at the moment- confined in our case to above the mexican border. I know we in colorado were especially hit hard last year with in excess of 55 deaths, primarily in the elderly. It is easily prevented, use deet repellent and your ok. I don't know if it has come down as far as belize yet..... john in denver

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 186
same sa here in Louisiana...trying to escape the threat of West Nile....

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