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Dengue epidemic in Belize

Filed under: belize,General,global islands — admin @ 6:09 am

Friday, 26 October 2007

Belize on Friday confirmed 80 cases of “classical” dengue fever since the start of the year and appealed to residents to take all necessary precautions against the spread of the disease.

An official statement said that the majority of the cases were in the Corozal district and Belize City and that there has been only “one confirmed case of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever”.

“The Ministry of Health is addressing the increased number of cases seen recently in Belize with insecticide spraying and treatment of mosquito breeding sites,” it said urging citizens to help stem the spread by washing water storage containers at least once a week, changing the water in flower pots every four to five days and avoid having containers that can collect water on their premises.

Dengue, also known as “Break-bone Fever”, is an infectious disease that is transmitted by the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which breed in fresh water stored in natural or artificial containers.

The Ministry of Health said that dengue fever usually occurs during or after the rainy season and the symptoms include high fever, severe headache; backache; muscle pain; joint pain and swollen lymph nodes

“Dengue Fever is a disease that must be taken very seriously, in particular if you have had these symptoms in the past, and every effort should be made to keep yourself, your family and your community safe by maintaining a clean environment.

“The haemorrhagic form of Dengue Fever is more severe and associated with loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, headache and abdominal pain. Shock and circulatory failure may occur. Untreated haemorrhagic Dengue Fever results in death in up 50 per cent of cases.”

The statement urged citizens travelling to countries where dengue fever is epidemic to take all necessary precautions to reduce their risk of acquiring the disease and named countries like Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras that have had dengue fever outbreaks this year.

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