Headline — 07 October 2017 — by Adele Ramos
Pink eye cases double 2016 count: almost 8,000 cases reported

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Oct. 4, 2017–Teachers, students and workers have been coming down with conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye”, in an unprecedented wave that seems to be striking like a plague across households in Belize. Latest reports from the Ministry of Health indicate that over the past four weeks, a total of 5,434 pink eye cases have been documented, bringing the total for the first 40 weeks of the year to 7,720.

Notably, this is more than double the amount of cases reported for all of 2016, at 3,302. Over the past four years, the average amount of cases per year has been less than 3,000. Of note is that last week alone, 3,288 cases were recorded, exceeding the amount of pink eye cases reported for any given year since 2013.

When we last reported to you on the outbreak of pink eye which began in September, following an outbreak in nearby Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, we had said that the bulk of the cases were reported in the Corozal District.

It turns out now that the bulk of the cases are being reported in the Belize District, although when compared with the population levels by district, Corozal still has the highest infection rate per 1,000 district residents.

This is according to official information supplied to our newspaper by National Epidemiologist, Dr. Ethan Gough, who works out of the Ministry of Health in Belmopan.

The latest information, summarizing cases for the past four weeks, indicates that of the 5,434 cases reported by district, Corozal accounted for 1,327 cases, Orange Walk – 387 cases, Belize – 2,525 cases, Cayo – 814 cases, Stann Creek – 292 cases, and Toledo – 94 cases. This data is current up to October 3, 2017.

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