A 47 year old man died as a result of contracting leptospirosis. He was infected with the deadly bacteria Leptospira, commonly carried by animals, especially rats and transmitted by contact with infected waste matter such as urine and feces.
It had not been reported in some time and the Ministry of Health quickly went to work identifying and containing the situation. Here is a report from Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services.
“We did have a young man who came in and died. From our initial screen, we have it as positive, but again, we have sent it to CARPHA for confirmation. Leptospirosis is not a new disease in Belize. Doctors who study in Cuba will tell you that it is a big issue in Cuba. Leptospirosis, we used to say, that we used to see it more in the rural areas and certainly the agricultural vet. Over the last five years, we have seen a number of cases in Belize.It was back during Keith Hurricane that we have seen one death in Belize City from leptospirosis. So far, we have only one death that we lost to leptospirosis, and I think the whole clinical pattern fit in the leptospirosis”.
The Ministry’s Public Health Department and Belize City Council have coordinated public awareness and clean-up campaigns in the area affected which is an unidentified section of Southside Belize City where there is large amounts of refuse. Four other cases were tested and confirmed not to be leptospirosis.