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Belize Issues Alert on Regional Dengue Outbreaks

Belmopan. July 31, 2013. The Ministry of Health hereby informs the general public of several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution.The Government of Honduras has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak has left 16 people dead. The disease is present throughout Central America and has caused 26 deaths and infected nearly 40,000 persons.

Although the number of confirmed dengue cases has remained low in Belize during this first part of the year, the Ministry of Health continues to execute its Dengue Prevention Plan countrywide. We are appealing to parents and their children during the summer holidays to clean up their yards and properly dispose of old tires and eliminate water holding containers that may become breeding sites for the Aedes mosquito.

The public is also encouraged to take every precaution including the following:

1. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a high fever and any of the following symptoms: headache, pain behind the eyes (retro-orbital pain), joint and muscle pain, and rash.

2. Do not take any medication that contains Aspirin, and drink lots of liquids;

3. Use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites;

4. Ensure your home is properly screened;

5. Keep house windows open whenever the Ministry of Health is conducting spraying activities in order for insecticide to reach mosquitoes inside the home.

The Ministry of Health would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Summer Holiday.
For More Information Contact:
Kim Bautista
Chief of Operations – Vector Control
Ministry of Health

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