Belize still on cholera alert

The deadly and contagious disease cholera is on the rampage in  Mexico and its health authorities met with their Belizean counterparts in the Free Zone a few days ago. Ministry of Health CEO Dr. Peter Allen gives details of Belize’s preparations to stave off the disease.

Dr. Peter Allen – CEO Ministry of Health:

vlcsnap-2013-10-11-07h51m59s81“We don’t have any cases reported as yet in Belize.  The cases in Mexico are isolated to rather distant areas of Mexico at the moment. Cholera is extremely infectious, and extremely dangerous.  There have been outbreaks in Haiti of course.  We haven’t had any cases of cholera in Belize, as far as I’m aware, since the 1990s, but what we have done is to increase our surveillance activities.  We’ve established surveillance committees in all of our hospitals and districts. Those surveillance committees closely monitor all reports of infectious disease including cholera and of course they closely monitor the Belize Health Information System and we include alerts in that system to let us know of anything that even looks as if it may be cholera.”  

According to Dr. Allen the area around the border with Mexico and the Commercial Free Zone is being monitored for suspect cases.

Dr. Peter Allen

“Now at the border and at the Free Zone, clearly what we wanted to look at is the migration of people who may act as carriers of the disease, and we have wanted to work with our Mexican counterparts to do our very best to identify any potential cases through questioning at the border and at the Immigration, and to see and treat any that we find.  As far as I am aware at the moment, there has been no identification of any such cases but the important thing for us is to increase the surveillance and to do our best to make sure that the Belizean population is safe.”

Dr. Allen says the necessary vaccines and medicines are available in Belize should cholera come here.

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