U.S. couple who visited Belize positive for Zika

There are not one but two apparent cases of Zika originating in Belize. The Ministry of Health today confirmed the devastating news in a telephone conversation with other media, following yesterday’s press release in which U.S. authorities at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed, and the Ministry reported that an adult female traveled to Belize between March 14 and 19 and tested positive for the virus 4 days later. The Ministry’s investigations now confirm that the woman’s husband is also confirmed to have the disease. Here is Ministry of Health CEO, Dr. Ramon Figueroa.

Ramon Figeroa, CEO Ministry of Health: We’re out investigating and doing the groundwork and doing the investigation to find out whether there’s any local transmission, whether there were any cases. We’re sending out a team tomorrow to the South to look at the details. Can I ask you to understand that I don’t give you names of places because yes we have information to where the people were located but I would not want to put the name of the name of the facility on the news for confidentiality purposes. It’s in the South that’s all I can tell you. It’s one locality that we were told where the people were posted and I will add that apparently it was a wife and husband and the husband also turned out positive.  

Reporter: You’re talking about a resort when you say facility right?vlcsnap-2016-04-11-10h07m10s068

Ramon Figeroa, CEO Ministry of Health: Yes

Reporter: And the case of the husband, why was that not released yesterday. You mean he tested positive yesterday for the virus?

Ramon Figeroa, CEO Ministry of Health: Because it came out afterward. When we asked for more information, the information we received this morning basically said give us the details on the individuals, and then added the other information that said that the husband also came down later on with the symptoms and also tested positive so we’re investigating.

Dr. Figueroa says that according to the information from the US, the couple did not travel elsewhere in the past 6 months. For now, Figueroa advises Belizeans to increase preventive measures to eliminate the breeding sites for mosquitoes. That telephone interview was courtesy our colleagues at KREM.

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