Zika virus?

Posted By: Latt

Zika virus? - 02/16/16 04:35 AM

Have there been any reported cases of Zika virus in AC or anywhere in Belize? Lots of worry up here in The states and airlines are offering refunds to those whose travel plans included Central/South America.

While on the subject of mosquitos, is there a mosquito abatement program in place on AC? I live in south Louisiana, USA and we have a mosquito control department. During the summer months when the mosquitos are most active the agency sprays insecticides via trucks with fogger machines as well as by airplanes. They spray quite a large area, many times the size of AC nightly. Has this ever been considered on the island?
Posted By: Short

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 06:41 AM

None that I know of. When you look at the maps, Belize is the only country in Central America where no cases have been reported yet. I googled the subject and from the maps I have seen, Zika in Central America centers mostly around the Pacific Coast (we are on the Atlantic Coast) and in Mexico near the US boarder by the Gulf of Mexico. I am no specialist though and I realize that it's only a matter of time before we also will be affected. I have seen pictures of the tiger mosquito, and while I live on Ambergris Caye, I have never seen one here yet. Most of the resorts spray against mosquitos, I think the town board does too, but I'm not sure.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 12:15 PM

Cases of malaria have declined a grt deal over the yrs due to govt spraying and info programs. Less malaria means lots fewer mossies, which indicates we are doing a pretty good job at eradication of all species of mossies and far fewer transmission of all mossie born illness. We have a small population, so much easier to control here.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 12:16 PM

Many news articles report that the larvicide used to eradicate the mosquitoes is the culprit in the microcephalic babies in Brazil. The larvicide was introduced into public/drinking water in the communities where the birth defects are clustered.

And yes, we do have mosquito abatement programs here. These programs do not employ the methods noted above.
Posted By: Noelle

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 12:24 PM

That's interesting because on Caye Caulker they spray Malathion from a fogger on a truck. What do they do on Ambergris Caye?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 01:47 PM

The same, in town at least. Malathion is not a larvicide, nasty but not a larvicide.
Posted By: Noelle

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 03:00 PM

Thanks for the clarification.

I thought the comment about "These programs do not employ the methods noted above"
was in response to this: "During the summer months when the mosquitos are most active the agency sprays insecticides via trucks with fogger machines".
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 04:27 PM

Fogging with public service announcements for decades reminding people any bit of water can breed mossies. Belize people have lived with this for yrs and monitor stagnant water and remove things in their yard which might become a source. They need water to breed and its only the females who bite and possibly become a vector. Just take a look at our malaria figures and how drastically they have been reduced over the yrs. Why we do not have more issues with mosquito borne diseases. Education!
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 05:15 PM

Originally Posted by Noelle
Thanks for the clarification.

I thought the comment about "These programs do not employ the methods noted above"
was in response to this: "During the summer months when the mosquitos are most active the agency sprays insecticides via trucks with fogger machines".

No, I referred to my own comments on larvicide that were directly above, in the same post.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 05:48 PM

"Why we do not have more issues with mosquito borne diseases. Education!"

Someone needs to educate the people that have dumped hundreds of opened coconuts on the side of the road across from FC's...
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 06:51 PM

Something I have noticed in other countries in the region is a practice of building concrete walls around a property and topping them with broken glass bottles as a sort of poor man's razor wire. About half of these glass toppers hold water. Perfect breeding ground for the type of mosquito we don't want to have around.
Thankfully this is NOT a common practice here in Belize.
Posted By: Larry Pfeifer

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 10:04 PM

Mosquito borne disease is a complicated issue and consequently there is plenty of confusing and misleading information.

First, Larvicides are highly effective although they should be used in combination with a multi prong eradication program. Larvae are relatively easy to kill. Eliminating airborne insects through fogging is much more difficult. And eliminating standing water sources when possible is a given.

Secondly, there is no scientific basis whatsoever for the claim that a larvicide is responsible for the outbreak of microcephaly. As commonly happens in situations like this, non-scientists who do not distinguish between causation and correlation instigate unfounded alarm. In this case, the larvicide pyriproxyfen in not the culprit.

Third, Malaria is the number one infectious disease killer world wide. It kills between one and two million people every year - most of them children. Without the proper use of larvicides this toll would be far higher.

Fourth, Zika is no threat to most persons. In fact, most people infected will never manifest any symptoms. Others may become ill but will quickly recover. It is a serious threat only to women of child bearing age who may become pregnant in a region where they could be potentially be bitten by a vector.

And finally, Zika is a flavivirus, one of a family of similar viruses responsible for Dengue, Yellow Fever, and West Nile. It will not spread epidemically in the US just as those other flavivirus diseases have not due to simple containment measures not always available int he third world.
Posted By: Noelle

Re: Zika virus? - 02/16/16 11:04 PM

Posted By: Marty

Re: Zika virus? - 02/17/16 06:55 PM

More info here.....
Posted By: Safaristar

Re: Zika virus? - 02/18/16 04:07 PM

Interesting article links the microcephaly in Brazil to a larvicide that was introduced into the drinking water supply:
Posted By: Phil

Re: Zika virus? - 02/18/16 05:38 PM

Just as an fyi for people. The Mono Virus which is doing the rounds has very similar symptoms to Zika and Dengue. I've had it twice in two months and it's nasty. High fevers (I was hallucinating at night),really strong body aches and pains heavy flu like feeling and very tired and weak. I ended up having a blood test to verify it wasn't Dengue or Zika the symptoms were that close.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Zika virus? - 02/27/16 05:40 PM

An Informed Traveler Is a Safer Traveler

“There’s a lot going on in the world,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, which sells travel insurance. “There’s a lot of noise out there about the dangers of traveling.”

Yet we’re generally terrible at adjusting the volume.

“How scared or not you are is an emotion, not a statistic,” said David Ropeik, a risk consultant and the author of “How Risky Is It, Really?” As fans of haunted houses will attest, risk and being scared are two different things. But Mr. Ropeik’s point is that in the battle between your gut and your brain, your gut will win. One way to make sensible choices as a traveler is to nudge your gut toward rationality by feeding it accurate information, which is easier said than done.

Zika and terrorism are the latest high-decibel threats. But there are also some deafening silences. For example, you hear very little about the leading cause of nonnatural deaths among Americans abroad: motor vehicle accidents.

According to the latest figures available from the State Department, 223 Americans died abroad in car, bus or motorcycle accidents between July 2014 and June 2015. Other causes of death (homicide, suicide and drowning) also far outweigh terrorism. Sixteen Americans died of “terrorist action” in that period, all but four in places you already know not to go: Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia.

More from the NYTimes
Posted By: Marty

Re: Zika virus? - 04/08/16 10:30 AM

Centers for Disease Control Says Zika Case Detected in the United States Links to Belize

On April 6th, 2016 Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the transmission may have originated in Belize.

The CDC reported that, “The patient is an adult female resident who travelled to Belize from 14 -19 March 2016. She had onset of fever and rash on 23 March, 2016. Zika virus RT-PCR was positive on serum at the health department of the state. The patient reported no other recent travel history and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.”

The Ministry of Health at this time is not confirming that this is the first case of Zika in Belize. We are presently in communication with officials from CDC and the Pan American Health Organization Office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiological investigation. As soon as additional information is received, the Ministry will inform the public.
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