Melvin Flores in Amandala (Local newspaper in Belize) URL:http://www.belizemall.com/amandala/: "Dr. Luis Alberto Maroquin Veliz, head of the Melchor Hospital, told AMANDALA this afternoon that a cholera outbreak in Melchor is suspected of having caused the death of one person, and that there are 5 confirmed cases of cholera in the hospital. The outbreak was initially diagnosed on May 4, 1998, said Dr. Veliz, and since then, the hospital had been treating an average of 2-3 patients daily, which had increased to 11, then fluctuated between 2-5 cases daily. Sixty persons with symptoms of cholera have already been treated in the hospital, and 360 persons have already been treated at the out-clinics. San Ignacio's Public Health Department has reported two confirmed cases of cholera, one in Benque Viejo del Carmen, and the other in Las Flores. Fifteen family members have been treated for the disease. The district has launched plans to counter any outbreak of cholera, setting up testing units in Benque Viejo, San Ignacio and Belmopan. A mobile unit has also been equipped to deal with outbreaks in the outlying villages. The last outbreak of cholera in Belize was in July-August, 1995, when four persons died. The Mopan, Macal and the Belize Old Rivers have been tested for the disease, and authorities are awaiting the results of the tests. Meanwhile, medical authorities in Melchor are testing the streams which feed the Mopan, and they have suspended the activities of street vendors in Melchor until the vendors can prove that they have complied with certain guidelines laid down for the preparation of food. In Melchor, the cholera bacterium has so far been found in cabbages used by both vendors and citizens of that municipality. Belize health authorities on Sunday, June 7, administered aid to a resident living in the Guatemalan side of Arenal, a village that straddles the Belize/Guatemalan border." --via Peter Singfield snkm@btl.net VIA ProMED <http://www.healthnet.org/programs/promed.html>

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