The Ministry of Health & Wellness (MoHW) informs that a WhatsApp message currently circulating in Belize regarding the COVID-Omicron XBB subvariant was not released by the ministry.

MoHW advises the public not to share this WhatsApp message as the information is false and will cause unnecessary panic and continued misinformation.

The World Health Organization has advised that the XBB subvariant is not more deadly than the previously dominant Omicron subvariants, and has confirmed that the symptoms of XBB remain mild or similar to that of the flu.

In Belize, there has been a recent increase in the positivity rate for COVID-19; however, there has not been a significant increase in hospitalizations. MoHW remains vigilant in its monitoring of this virus and other infectious diseases and urges persons who develop flu-like symptoms to get tested at the nearest health facility.

MoHW continues to advise persons who are vulnerable, particularly anyone with a chronic illness, persons 65 years or older, and pregnant women, to utilize face masks, especially in enclosed areas, avoid crowded places when possible, and wash or sanitize hands regularly. MoHW also urges the public to get vaccinated and/or a booster shot as soon as possible.

Do not share or listen to false medical information. Be safe and get the facts only from reliable sources.