Thursday, April 30, 2009

Town Council Addresses Swine Flu

The San Pedro Town Council held a closed meeting with doctors, principals and teachers this afternoon to discuss the current situation with the Swine Flu virus. School officials were updated with the situation and were educated on how to handle and relay the information to their staff and student body. One thing that was not canceled was the high school entrance exam PSE (Primary School Examination) which is scheduled to take place on Monday, May 4, 2009.

The San Pedro Town Council will also hold a meeting this evening at 5p.m. at the Lions Den to address members of the San Pedro Business Association. Small closed meeting are being held with different officials and groups so as to minimize contact with large groups of people as a precaution of the swine flu pandemic. You can tune in to the Reef Radio to listen in on the meeting tonight.

Dorian's Angels at Ocean Essence Day Spa

- by Sofia Muñoz, With all the hustle and bustle in town and all the work that one has to do every day, one asks “Where can I find some peace and relaxation in this lovely paradise?” Well look no more, Ocean Essence Day Spa can help you escape from your everyday stress and modern life and reinvigorate your spirit.

Since the Angels are always out and about doing fun and adventurous things, we thought, “Why not take a break and enjoy a relaxing day at Ocean Essence Day Spa?”Scarleth, got to enjoy a relaxing and calming, light massage with the use of various warm seashells. The seashells used help to balance energy and improve circulation and boost lymphatic drainage. The beautiful shells are found locally around the island.

Pearl on the other, hand instead of receiving one of the many treatments the spa has to offer, decided to help out Shirley and give me a Tropical Facial. For this treatment fresh local fruits and local brown sugar is used for an exfoliating and moisturizing facial. Fresh papaya was smoothed on my face after which an exfoliating massage was done using the brown sugar.

Sofia gets prepped up for her facial

Perlita cuts papaya to prepare Sofia's face mask

A light foot massage is also part of the deal with the facial

The massage table is prepared for Scarleth

Scarleth looks like she is in bliss

Ocean Essence Masseuses Ceci Lara, Sara Bladon and Shirley Eiley

Vaccine for Swine Flu?

Swine flu: small drug developer Lipoxen jumps on vaccine results

By Telegraph Staff
Last Updated: 10:42AM BST 30 Apr 2009

Lipoxen, a small British biopharmaceutical company, saw its shares more than double after the company announced positive results for tests on a flu vaccine that it claims may work on swine flu.

Shares in the company rose 117pc to 15.25p, valuing the company at £18m, after it made the announcement.

Lipoxen, working with Cambridge Biostability, a developer of temperature stable vaccines, said it had achieved positive pre-clinical results for the delivery of a novel and enhanced influenza vaccine.

M. Scott Maguire, chief executive of Lipoxen, said in a regulatory news announcement: "This new very positive data on a novel flu vaccine candidate comes at a critical time for the world particularly in light of the current potential for a swine flu outbreak where the death toll is climbing daily and the spread of disease is an enormous current global threat."

He claimed the results show that the company had the technology "to develop a novel flu vaccine candidate suitable for pandemic planning".

Mr Maguire said: "We are encouraged to believe that it would also work for the new swine flu 2009 strain since an earlier human-derived H1N1 strain was used in the studies reported today. We look forward to working with Cambridge Biostability to maximize the commercial potential of this flu vaccine candidate."

Lipoxen and Cambridge Biostability said they were in discussion with major vaccine manufacturers with a view to licensing the new technology package for pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines.

Jellyfish Galore!!!

Check these guys out! Hundreds, upon hundreds of jellyfish are swarming the shores of Ambergris Caye. Please be careful when you get in to water. Check the area if you see these boys around. You could end up with some serious stings.

This Man-O-War joins the pack

Filming in Belize

Our attention was taken beach side last week as people called in to let us know that a film crew was shooting footage at the beach by the Tackle Box. We rushed to the scene to find out what new TV program was being shot on the island not. To our surprise, it was Belize's very own Tourism Board working on a promotional video to market and advertise our country abroad. We definitely need some more advertising out there to help the Belizean market get busy once again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flue Updates

PRESS RELEASE - UPDATE for April 29, 2009 - Ministry of Health

Belmopan – Wednesday, April 29, 2009. -
*Borders - It has been reiterated that the closing of borders is not recommended as it is not recommended by International Health Regulations. Surveillance and screening of visitors at the northern and western border continues.

*Cruise Ships - Any sick person on board a vessel (including a cruise ship) will not be allowed to leave the ship and come on onshore.

*Intersectoral Coordination- A meeting with stakeholders took place on April 27, 2009 to discuss the multi-sectoral approach in responding to the potential introduction of Swine Flu. Participants included:

- Office of the Director of Health Services, Ministry of Health, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), Ministry of Education, Regional Health Managers of the Ministry of Health, Immigration, Customs and Cuban Medical Brigade Coordination.

Hot Line
The Ministry of Health has established a Hot Line for the public from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. the number is 629-5604 and will be handled by Nurse Augustina Eligio, stationed at MOH HQ.

Number of Cases in Belize
Blood samples have been sent to CAREC Trinidad today from suspected cases from: San Pedro Ambergris Caye (1), Belize City (2) and Orange Walk (1). To date 7 countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases.
The Ministry of Health is working closely with the Pan American Health Organization and will keep the public updated as to the development of events in regards to the outbreak in Mexico and USA.




Ministry of Health

Belmopan, April 29, 2009. In light of the ongoing global epidemic of Swine Flu, the World Health Organization has raised the level of alert to Phase 5. This means that the virus has caused sustained community level outbreaks in two or more countries in one World Health Organization Region.

With the underlying principle of preventing any potential transmission of Swine Flu in the country of Belize, the Ministry of Health through the Director of Health Services, in accordance with Section 83 of the Public Health Act, has issued a directive to postpone all major public gatherings until further notice.

This includes the following events:

* The Annual General Meeting of the Holy Redeemer Credit Union Belize City
* Morgan Heritage Musical Concert, Belize City
* The University of Belize Fundraising Event – Spring Fling 2009, Belmopan
* National Agriculture and Trade Show, Belmopan
* Cashew Fest, Crooked Tree
* Hermanos Ponce Circus, Belize City

We ask that organizers and the general public adhere to this public health notice. (end)

Three "Possible" Cases of Swine Flu in Belize

Dr. Javier Zuniga has confirmed that there are No confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Belize, but there are three possible cases that have been sent to Trinidad for testing and confirmation. One of these cases has been recorded in San Pedro in which the patient is showing the symptoms of the Swine Flu and has recently arrived from Mexico. This not to say that there is Swine Flu on the Island. Doctors urge all resident to visit their physicians as soon as they start exhibiting flu-like symptoms. As soon as we get any updates from Dr. Zuniga, we will be informing our readers of the current Swine Flu situation.


*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated that the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of other strains of human flu, including fever over 38°C/100.4°F, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A few patients have reported that they also suffered from diarrhea and vomiting.

*The symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like seasonal flu, commonly fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth.

* Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days.


*Recommendations to prevent infection by the virus consist of the standard personal precautions against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in-public. People should avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes with their hands unless they've washed their hands. If people do cough, they should either cough into a tissue and throw it in the garbage immediately, cough into their elbow, or, if they cough in their hand, they should wash their hands immediately. Avoid places where there are lots of people like, super markets, malls, clinics, etc… if you have to go to these places it is recommended to wear surgical mask and wash hands after coming back from these places.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Support Island Academy's Fundraiser

Click to enlarge for details

Be Kind Belize Program

Ms. Colette Kase has been teaching Humane Education through a program called Be Kind Belize and in the program children are taught the importance of treating other living creatures with kindness and respect.The Standard III class of Island Academy took the program and on Monday, April 27, the children had their final class with Ms. Kase where they performed skits with hand-made paper puppets for the class to enjoy. After their presentations the children were awarded with their certificates to end the program.Any principal wanting to have this program in their school can contact Ms. Colette Kase at 226-4366 or 624-8251.