Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rotavirus On the Rise

An increase in rotavirus cases has been recorded in most hospitals and health areas of the country. In Baja Verapaz, where a girl died recently from rotavirus, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) triggered a red alert.

Since last Wednesday, Conred and paramedics have been to hospitals in Salamá, Cubulco, and San Miguel Chicaj Rabinal to bring supplies. Supplies detergent, water, disposable diapers, bottles, and cleaning and hygiene equipment. The paramedic staff is composed of Army nurses.

In Jutiapa, Dr. Hector Juarez explained that the increased cases were recorded since January 15th in the National Hospital, but increased last week and this week.

Anita Teo is an epidemiologist who studied 50 cases of children under 5 years with diarrhea. 36 were positive for rotavirus. Of these, 10 were reported last January, and the rest in the last two weeks.

Oscar Escobar, director of the hospital, advised parents not to give home remedies for sick children, but bring them to the hospital.

In Quiché, Solomon Delgado, director of the hospital of the town, reported that the municipalities in which more cases have been reported are the departmental capital with 15, and Chichicastenango with seven.

In Quetzaltenango, the number of patients rose to 53. 21 of which were treated at the Centro Salud and the remainder in the Western Regional Hospital (HRO). Salvador Soto, director of the health center, said that of the 147 known cases of diarrhea, 21 were confirmed as rotavirus.

Oliver Martinez, epidemiologist of the Department of Health, explained that rotavirus generates epidemics during the cold season.

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