Cielo Vista

First Zika virus case reported in Costa Rica

January 29, 2016
1 Comments

The first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been detected in Costa Rica, health officials announced Tuesday.

The Health Ministry issued a statement confirming the first documented case of Zika virus in the country, detected in a 25-year-old man who contracted the virus while visiting Colombia.

Originally from West Africa, the virus can cause serious birth defects including microcephaly, a condition that causes children to be born with an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development. It’s recent spread to Caribbean and Latin American countries has caused alarm among residents and travelers, and even prompted some governments to encourage women to hold off getting pregnant for the time being.

Costa Rica’s first patient started showing symptoms, which include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headaches, on Jan. 22 before he returned to Costa Rica on Jan. 23. He sought medical attention on Jan. 24 at a Costa Rican public hospital, officials reported.

The Zika virus can not spread from person to person, but can spread if a mosquito feeds on an infected person and then bites someone else.

Costa Rica health workers fumigated a 100-meter square area around the patient’s bedroom and interviewed neighbors. Officials said they did not detect anyone in proximity to the man with symptoms compatible with Zika.

Zika spreads through the same mosquitos that carry dengue and chikungunyaAccording to the World Health Organization, most Zika cases are mild and do not require treatment besides rest, hydration and treating pain and fever with over-the-counter medication. There is no vaccine for Zika.

Pregnant women who contract the virus, however, can be at risk for microcephaly. In Brazil 3,893 cases of microcephaly have been linked to Zika, especially in the northeastern part of the South American country.

El Salvador and Colombia have both asked pregnant women to be especially careful not to get bit by mosquitos. Earlier this week, El Salvador’s health officials went so far as to ask women there to avoid getting pregnant until 2018.

U.S. health authorities have warned pregnant women not to travel to 22 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean to avoid exposure to the Zika virus. Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belize were the only Central American countries not listed on a Centers for Disease Control travel warning list for Zika virus. At this writing, Costa Rica has not been included in the travel warning list.

The World Health Organization has warned that the virus could spread rapidly throughout the Western Hemisphere, except in Chile and Canada, which have no Aedes mosquitos, the type that carries the disease.

With information from AFP.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Cases of microcephaly quadruple in Costa Rica due to Zika
Costa Rica
63 views
Costa Rica
63 views

Cases of microcephaly quadruple in Costa Rica due to Zika

Monserrat Cordero Parra / Semanario Universidad - May 23, 2019

Health authorities reported Wednesday that the births of children with microcephaly in Costa Rica have quadrupled since the appearance of…

TBT: When LACSA flew the colors of Costa Rica across the Americas
Throwback Thursday
55 views
Throwback Thursday
55 views

TBT: When LACSA flew the colors of Costa Rica across the Americas

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 23, 2019

LACSA, or Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A., once flew the colors of Costa Rica throughout North, Central and South America. Founded…

No Navas as Costa Rica names roster for Peru friendly
La Sele
20 views
La Sele
20 views

No Navas as Costa Rica names roster for Peru friendly

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 22, 2019

The Costa Rican soccer federation on Wednesday revealed its roster for an upcoming friendly against Peru. The list includes Álvaro…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!