Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2018 02:54:30 +0100

Guatemala City, Feb 2, 2018 (AFP) - The eruption of a volcano near the Guatemalan capital subsided Thursday after 20 hours of activity that rained ash on nearby communities and prompted an orange alert, a spokesman said.   The eruption of the Volcan de Fuego ("Fire Volcano") sent ash towering 1.7 kilometres (one mile) into the sky and raining down on at least eight communities, said David de Leon, an emergency services spokesman.

Authorities announced an orange alert earlier on Thursday, and schools near the volcano, which is 35 kilometres southwest of Guatemala City, were shut.   The Volcan de Fuego, one of three active volcanos in Guatemala, triggered alarm in September 2012 when it erupted, causing the evacuation of 10,000 residents living nearby.   It is located very close to Antigua Guatemala, a colonial-era town very popular with tourists in the Central American country.
Date: Mon 29 Jan 2018
Source: Breaking Belize news [edited]
<https://www.breakingbelizenews.com/2018/01/29/health-ministry-issues-advisory-on-measles-situation-in-central-america-and-caribbean/>

The Ministry of Health reported today [29 Jan 2018] that it was recently alerted to a positive case of measles in Guatemala, imported from Germany.

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease but is also a vaccine-preventable disease that has not been reported in Belize since 1991.

The number of cases of measles in the region of the Americas has increased from 92 to 271 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the Caribbean is reporting highly suspicious cases imported from the United Kingdom (UK).

The public is hereby advised to urgently report to your nearest health facility if you show signs or observe someone with the following symptoms:

- Any person with history of fever of 4 days, rash that started on the neck and face and scattered on the body thereafter, and any one of the 3 C's (Cough, Coryza or a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis) OR

- Any person with fever and any one of the 3 C's (Cough, Coryza or a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis), even before the onset of rash, with history of travel to and from the UK in the previous 30 days.

Suspicious cases need to be isolated and investigated to avoid spread to susceptible individuals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every eligible child receive 2 doses of the measles-containing vaccine.

WHO also encourages adults who are not fully immunized, or who are not sure of their immunity status, to get vaccinated.

In response to this alert, the Ministry convened a meeting with all its public health nurses last week to share the information and activate an immediate heightened surveillance to follow up on any presentation of symptoms that can possibly lead to a positive Measles case.
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[This post and the following one are reminders that even countries where measles has been eliminated are at risk of having travel-related cases of this vaccine-preventable disease. Immunization of the population must still be maintained even following elimination.

A HealthMap of Guatemala can be found at
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/13>. - ProMED Mod LK]
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2018 17:29:34 +0100

San José, Jan 5, 2018 (AFP) - Tropical Central America was on Friday feeling the chilly outer rim of the weather phenomenon that has plunged the eastern United States and Canada into a deep freeze.   Unusually low temperatures were being recorded in the region -- though nowhere near as low as in North America.    Costa Rica's capital San Jose saw the mercury plunge as low as 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts, far lower than the usual 25 degrees, according to the state meteorological service.   Two homeless men reportedly died from hypothermia in San Jose.

The cold front was a dampener for foreigners who were visiting Central America in its peak tourist period to escape the northern hemisphere's icy winter, leaving beaches lashed by windy gusts, overcast and rainy.   The airline Avianca cancelled several flights leaving Central America for snowed-in New York.

"The cold snap we are feeling from Guatemala to Costa Rica is a polar mass that is affecting the northeast coast of the United States. We are feeling the tail-end of it," Costa Rican state meteorologist Luis Diego Naranjo told AFP.   He said the weather pattern would continue through Sunday, after which temperatures would climb back up toward normal.
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 20:51:52 +0200

Guatemala City, Aug 11, 2017 (AFP) - A two-year-old girl is among 17 people killed in floods in Guatemala since the start of the Central American  country's rainy season in April, authorities said on Friday.    The toddler drowned Thursday after heavy rain caused the Platanitos River  to flood a poor district of Guatemala City, national disaster prevention  coordinator David de Leon told reporters.    Nearly 159,000 people have been displaced during this year's rainy season.
Date: Mon 7 Aug 2017 15:50 CST
Source: Prensa Libre [in Spanish, machine transl., edited]
<http://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/comunitario/se-registran-dos-muertes-por-brote-de-fiebre-tifoidea-en-peten>

So far, 60 positive cases and 2 deaths of typhoid fever have been confirmed [in Peten department], officials say. The Health Minister, Lucrecia Hernandez, confirmed that the outbreak began in the municipality of Dolores, Peten department. The 1st documented case occurred on 9 Jul 2017 and to date 60 cases have been reported. "Of these 2 persons died, the 1st on 17 Jul 2017 and the other on 21 Jul 2017," said the minister. She explained that the 1st death occurred due to a complication of pancreatitis and the 2nd case was a patient who was transferred from his house to the hospital in Izabal but died on the way.

Hernandez explained that the other 58 cases have been taken care of by the health department. "The epidemiological investigation of case identification, as well as prevention measures are being implemented," she said. The minister asked the population, particularly of Dolores, Peten, to consult a health centre when presenting with fever and abdominal pain.

"We have seen a reduction in the number of registered cases, but we still cannot say that the outbreak is contained; we hope to do so in the coming weeks," said the official.

The Ministry of Health indicates that they have done an analysis of the water consumed in the sector but there is still no conclusive report of what caused the outbreak of the disease. "We suspect this is a problem of food handling. Typhoid fever can be asymptomatic, that is they do not show the disease, but the infected person can still spread it," said Hernandez. Because of this health authorities ask the population to reinforce hygiene measures when handling food and chlorinate or boil water.  [Byline: Carlos Alvarez]
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[Typhoid fever, so-called enteric fever caused by _Salmonella enterica_ serotype Typhi, has a totally different presentation from that of the commoner kinds of salmonellosis. Epidemiologically, usually spread by contaminated food or water, typhoid is not a zoonosis like the more commonly seen types of salmonellosis. Clinically, vomiting and diarrhoea are typically absent; indeed, constipation is frequently reported. As it is a systemic illness, blood cultures are at least as likely to be positive as stool in enteric fever, particularly early in the course of the infection, and bone marrow cultures may be the most sensitive.

The symptoms of classical typhoid fever typically include fever, anorexia, lethargy, malaise, dull continuous headache, non-productive cough, vague abdominal pain, and constipation. Despite the often high fever, the pulse is often only slightly elevated. During the 2nd week of the illness, there is protracted fever and mental dullness, classically called coma vigil. Diarrhoea may develop but usually does not. Many patients develop hepatosplenomegaly [both liver and spleen enlarged]. After the 1st week or so, many cases develop a maculopapular rash on the upper abdomen. These lesions ("rose spots") are about 2 cm [0.78 in] in diameter and blanch on pressure. They persist for 2-4 days and may come and go. Mild and atypical infections are common.

The word typhoid (as in typhus-like) reflects the similarity of the louse-borne rickettsial disease epidemic typhus and that of typhoid fever; in fact, in some areas, typhoid fever is still referred to as abdominal typhus. - ProMED Mod.LL]

[Maps of Guatemala can be seen at
<http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/guatemala_pol00.jpg> and
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/35779>. - ProMED Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]
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