Screen_Shot_2016-05-17_at_8.27.37_PMLast night we informed you about the first case of zika virus that was recorded here in Belize after the results were returned last week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) where it was sent for testing.

Immediately after the information was obtained, the Ministry of Health launched an investigation of which several measures were set into place in order to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the rest of the country.

And while there is currently no links to any trace of the virus in other parts of the country, the Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero told us during an interview earlier this evening that Belizeans must still be concerned due to the fact that our country possesses ideal environmental conditions for vector bourne diseases.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero – Director of Public Health Services

“If you can recall what we have been saying perhaps for the last eight or nine months, I think we have always been saying that we never said that we never had Zika case, should we be concern? I think we should always be concern for any vector born disease as such and I mean we have the vector we have the ideal environmental conditions for Zika, ChikVi and Dengue so that will always be a health concern so therefore there should always pump out there as a community to be looking out to ensure that we are eliminating all the sites.”

Manzanero assured us that the work that is presently being carried out with the intention of educating and assisting the general public with regards to the virus, is not only being done in Belize City where the case was recorded but that it is being conducted countrywide.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero – Director of Public Health Services

“Our efforts has been continues across the country throughout the year and the only thing that has changed after this is that like for example Belize city is divided into zones so we do certain zones for certain weeks of year but what we have to do is to shift a little bit to where we were in terms of our zoning so that we had to concentrate our activities last week and this in a different zones that we had already placed in our agenda, last week we had mosquito awareness week so we are already carrying out activities across the country and in light assuming that we could have a potential outbreak because the rainy season is about to start.”

Manzanero also spoke about a few precautionary measures that the public can take in order to assist in the prevention of the zika transmission starting by taking care of their surrounding environment.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero – Director of Public Health Services

“The ideal situation would be where everybody would be taking care of their immediate surroundings in terms of killing areas so that there is no breeding sites it we can’t eliminate that completely then you would to take measures to ensure that you are not being bitten by mosquitos which means you minimize your exposure.”

The Ministry is advising the community to be on the alert for all information that is provided by reliable sources and emphasized that the ministry alone cannot get the job done without the assistance of the community.

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