Does Belize have its first case of Chikungunya? Information coming to PlusNews from several reliable sources strongly indicate that the first case in Belize may be in the capital City of Belmopan.
The Ministry of Health has issued no official release on the matter, but credible sources say that a woman from the Las Flores area has tested positive for the virus.
Over the weekend, we understand that the person from Las Flores went into a private clinic and tested positive for Chikungunya. However, a family member told PlusNews that the woman went to the Western Regional hospital and they took another blood test.
While Ministry of Health officials have been warning about the reliability of some test kits circulating in private medical facilities, PlusTV has subsequently learned that the test taken by the woman is one of the reliable test kits with very high accuracy, and she took multiple tests, all with positive results. The symptoms described by the patient are also typical of Chick V.
Health officials have been warning about the coming of Chikungunya, or Chick V as it is called, for some months now, as since June of this year, the disease made its showing in the Caribbean.
Chick V is spread by the Agepti mosquito, the same kind that spreads dengue and malaria. In fact, Chikungunya shares common symptoms with dengue; a fever, severe joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. But Chikungunya is far more severe and can last up to 6 months.
A small number of deaths from the Chick V has been reported in other countriesas treatments are limited, because it is a viral disease. Antibiotics do not work, there is no vaccination against it, and affected persons are advised to take non-aspirin painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to lessen pain.
We were unable to get an official comment from the Ministry of Health due to the lateness of the hour but we will be sure to follow up on this story on Wednesday.