noimageGuatemala has confirmed its first case of the Zika Virus, a disease that is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito that also transmits dengue and chikungunya. This marks the first case in the region, although El Salvador and Mexico reported suspected cases that might also be of Zika. Laboratories of Colorado confirmed the presence of the virus in the 21 year old patient who hails from Zacapa.

The patient started showing symptoms on November 11th and these included fever, chills, sweating, body aches, joint and conjunctivitis. We understand that two other suspected cases are being investigated. The Zika Virus has already affected countries in the Americas between 2014 and 2015, including Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. While Belize remains free of the virus, the Ministry of Health remains on high alert. In order to prevent the disease the public is asked to destroy mosquito breeding sites in and around homes and surrounding areas by keeping water drums tightly covered, draining stagnant water from yards and neighborhoods and throwing out stagnant water from flower vases, old tires and other containers that may act as breeding sites.

Members of the public can also protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants, using insect repellents and sleeping under mosquito nets.

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