zikaLast week we told you about an American couple who tested positive for the Zika virus after spending approximately six days in Belize. Following this report the Ministry of Health along with a team from the vector control unit, Public health department and the Epidemiology Department conducted field investigations over the weekend to determine the possibility of local transmission of the disease.

Late this evening the Ministry issued a release where they report that their field investigations have revealed two potential cases of the virus, one in Stann Creek and one in Toledo. A third person of interest was also located in the Cayo District. According to the release, samples were taken from the persons in the southern districts and will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) tomorrow for testing.

Despite all the factors that may indicate the presence of Zika, the Ministry is still unable to declare the first local transmission case of Zika in Belize. Regional Health Management teams throughout the country have been debriefed and the Zika plan for Belize continues to be implemented and is now moving into a new phase as the Ministry continues to learn more of the situation.

The community is also asked to take precautionary measures to minimize the breeding sites and population of mosquitoes that primarily transmit the disease.  Pregnant women are especially asked to be cautious and try to avoid mosquito bites and are also encouraged to attend regular prenatal clinics in order to monitor their health and their baby’s development.

The ministry also calls for assistance from the general public in trying to mitigate the potential impact of Zika in Belize.

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