QUINTANA ROO, Mexico, Mon. Feb. 25, 2019– Today, the Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a press release advising Belizeans on increased cases of conjunctivitis (pink eye) recorded in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo areas of Mexico. Quintana Roo is the state that borders Belize.
The National Epidemiological Surveillance System of the Ministry of Health of Mexico reported that since the start of 2019, there has been a much higher number of cases of pink eye compared to this same time last year.
According to an article from The Yucatan Times, “In only 26 days the National System of Epidemiological Surveillance (SINAVE) of the federal Ministry of Health received reports of 1,200 cases diagnosed in the entity, at a rate of 46 each day.”
The article, which is dated February 14, said that in this same period last year, there were only 1,069 cases recorded. At the end of 2018, just fewer than 19,000 cases were recorded.
The release continues to say that while the Ministry is not seeing an increase in Belize, the Belizean public is still advised to monitor the situation, especially those persons living in the northern districts. The release advises these people to keep updated through MoH advisories and to continue proper hand-washing etiquette, i.e., washing hands often with soap and clean water.
“Pink eye can be caused by a bacteria or virus which can be spread easily from person to person. Symptoms of pink eye include redness in the white of the eye or inner eyelid, and watery eyes,” says the release.
Persons who have been exposed to pink eye are advised to seek medical attention as well as try to limit physical contact, as much as possible, with anyone who is suspected of having the disease.
MoH ended its release by saying that they are keeping close watch on the situation, and are in contact with health authorities from Quintana Roo and Yucatan.
When we called the Ministry to ask if there is anything being done at the border to reduce the spread of the disease into Belize, we found that their phone lines were not working well. They told us someone would be in contact with us, but as of press time, they have not done so.