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Ministry of Health Monitoring Confirmed Case of Whooping Cough

Belmopan, April 17, 2018. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has notified the Ministry of Health of a confirmed Pertussis (whooping cough) case from a visitor who travelled to Belize during the third week of March 2018.

Since the alert notification on April 13th, the Ministry has activated an investigative team to inform and follow-up with as many contact persons the infected person may have interacted with. Based on the information received from the CDC, the visitor was considered infectious during their travel in Belize. To date, the Ministry has no confirmed case detected in Belize from this imported case. However, the Ministry continues to monitor the situation.

The Ministry of Health takes this opportunity to remind the public of the symptoms of pertussis or whooping cough as it is more commonly known. Whooping cough is a bacterial infection where an individual can present with very violent and uncontrollable episodes of cough, difficulty breathing with a ‘whooping noise’ usually at the end of the cough episode, vomiting that occurs during or after coughing, and exhaustion after the cough episode. If you or anyone around you present these symptoms, please visit or report to your nearest health center. After exposure, the infection can be transmitted during the first two weeks and the infection can last for up to six/ten weeks.

The Ministry also reminds the public that our clinics have a whooping cough-containing vaccine, free of cost for children under age five who are considered most at risk. Please ensure that your child/children are protected against pertussis. Whooping cough can be managed if detected with antibiotic treatment and it is given to anyone who shows symptoms and was in direct contact with an infected person.

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For More Information contact:
Dr. Natalia Beer Dr. Ethan Gough
Technical Advisor Epidemiologist
Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Unit
Ministry of Health Ministry of Health
822-2325 822-2325/828-4447

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