Officials from Costa Rica’s Health Ministry on Monday confirmed that two women from the community of Sámara, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, are the first two confirmed cases of locally acquired Zika virus. Officials noted that none of the women had left the country and neither had contact with people who were recently abroad.
The ministry’s director of vector control, Rodrigo Marín, confirmed that the ministry has declared a health alert for Nicoya county, on the North Pacific area. The alert status allows the ministry to launch an active search for patients with fever and other symptoms in that community. It also triggers a health protocol that includes visits to fumigate homes, distribute information and allocate resources for the local municipality.
Read here: Learn a bit about Zika
“In the past few days we have fumigated no less than 3,000 homes in Sámara,” Marín said.
Minister Llorca said so far this year officials have tested 51 people for Zika, including the two women already confirmed as positive. “If we find more cases and we can confirm an outbreak, we are ready to ask the executive branch to approve an executive decree declaring a national emergency,” he said.
Before the two confirmed cases, Costa Rica registered only two cases of Zika virus contagion, both of whom were infected abroad. However the Health Ministry had reported the case of a U.S. man who presented symptoms last month, but he left the country before he could be tested. Although it is not clear if the man was infected here, a few days later the ministry received confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which prompted the inclusion of Costa Rica in the list of countries with active circulation of Zika virus.
If you are traveling to the North Pacific area of Costa Rica:
If you are pregnant, want to get pregnant in the near future or are with a woman who’s pregnant or wants to get pregnant: Please contact our travel consultants. In Camino Travel we fully understand a change in plans and WE ARE ready to HELP you.
If you are not pregnant and don’t want to get pregnant, our suggestion is to follow the only valid recommendation: to use repellent, and enjoy your trip!
Source: The Tico Times