Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cases of Dengue Reported in Belize

Cases of Dengue In Belize

Over the past week residents of the Cayo District have expressed concerns about the recent outbreak of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever in that locality. But after making a few check in San Pedro, Ambergris Today has discovered that there has been a few reported cases on the island as well.

In the absence of the Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, Deputy DHS Marjorie Parks spoke to Love FM and said that since dengue is endemic to Belize it is expected that there will be sudden occurrences on an annual basis. Parks said because of Benque Viejo’s proximity to Melchor de Mencos in Guatemala residents in that town are experiencing a slight increase in the number of cases because Melchor is considered a hotspot for the illness.

She further mentioned that the Ministry of Health has already begun an awareness campaign on proper health practices to avoid the fever by destroying breeding grounds for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito responsible for its spread. (More on Dengue in Thursday’s edition of Ambergris Today Newspaper)

* What is Dengue?
It is an infectious disease caused by a virus and is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. There are two types of Dengue; (i) Dengue (ii) Dengue Hemorrhagic. Dengue Hemorrhagic is when a person that is already affected by Dengue gets bitten a second time, then develops Dengue Hemorrhagic which in most cases is fatal. Dengue cannot be transmitted by direct contact by someone who is already infected; it can only be transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito after it has fed on sick person’s blood. The mosquito can travel for very long distances and thus it can contaminate people from different communities.

*Sudden and sharp high fever that last for five or seven days.
*Intense pain on the muscles, bones, head and eyes.
*Shin rash, vomiting and diarrhea
*Bitter taste in the mouth
*Some patients can suffer from bleeding episodes in ears and other body parts.
*Dengue Hemorrhagic is particularly serious. It can be fatal especially for children under 15.


There is no treatment or vaccine available for Dengue. If a person is infected he should drink plenty of liquids and rest in bed. He should take some medications to reduce the fever, malaise and intense pain. No aspirin should be taken. If a person suspects that he could have Dengue Hemorrhagic he should immediately go to the nearest medical center.

General Characteristics of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes:
These mosquitoes need accumulated and uncovered water for its reproduction so that they lay and rear their eggs. This process can take place both in clean or dirty water. They can develop in any type of receptacle such as bottles, old car wheels, flower vases, roof water drainage, tin cans and toys. Also natural water areas such as ponds, tree holes, fruit peels and plants. These mosquitoes develop in both rural and urban areas but mostly bite during the daytime.

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