Headline — 01 August 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Swine flu back in Belize

COROZAL DISTRICT, Mon. July 30, 2018– Earlier in this month, Quintana Roo had confirmed over 20 cases of the H1N1 influenza virus and at least 3 deaths because of it. On Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Belize issued a press release saying that three cases of H1N1 had been confirmed in the Corozal District.

Two of the cases are men who had recently travelled to Merida, Yucatan, and the third case is that of a pregnant woman who resides in Chetumal. According to the release, the cases were confirmed Friday afternoon by the Central Medical Lab in Belize City.

The release also says that MoH has “activated its northern Regional and National Surveillance Teams to immediately start managing these cases and to plan the next steps forward.”

MoH is continuing to monitor the situation and will advise the public if any other case arises.

In 2009, there were 23 confirmed cases in Belize, and labs had discovered that the disease, then referred to as swine flu, was caused by the N1H1 strain of the influenza “A”.

Later, it was discovered that this disease had been causing deaths from 1918 and also in the 1960’s.

Since 2009, there were cases of swine flu, but never severe ones. However, in January 2014, Belize saw its first death caused by the disease. Shahera Bodden, 29, had been seeking treatment since December 2013, but had returned to the hospital on January 2, 2014, with a heart rate of 148, a fever of 103, and a respiratory rate of 28. She died in the Intensive Care Unit on January 6, 2014.

Symptoms of H1N1 include body aches, fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

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