Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Romeros with a cold should stay home, Costa Rican doctors say

July 29, 2013

An uptick in the number of fatal cases of H1N1 in Costa Rica has led the Costa Rican Doctors and Surgeons Association to recommend Ticos with the flu sit out the romería to Cartago this week in honor of the country’s patron saint, the Virgin of the Angels.

Dr. Marino Ramírez, president of the medical association, said that it’s important that people participate “responsibly” in the pilgrimage to see “La Negrita” by taking care of their health and that of others. “If they have the flu or show any symptoms, it’s better that they not participate,” said Ramírez, according to a press release from the association.

So far this year there have been nine fatal cases of H1N1 and over 120 additional cases, according to the Health Ministry. There has been one death so far attributed to H3N2.

María Ethel Trejos of the Health Ministry’s Health Monitoring unit said that the concentration of the deaths – roughly half taking place during the last month – has captured the media’s attention but is not yet considered out of the ordinary compared to past years. 

The cool, wet conditions during the rainy season contribute to the spread of all kinds of respiratory diseases.

“People think of H1N1 because of the outbreak [several years ago], but more people died last year from H3N2,” another respiratory virus, Trejos told The Tico Times. “H1N1 is now a seasonal flu in Costa Rica,” she added.

In 2009, the Church suspended the pilgrimage to the Basílica Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in response to the H1N1 outbreak in hopes of limiting the number of infections attributed to the romería, according to the daily La Nación.

There are no announcements of similar measures this year.

Trejos agreed with the recommendations from the Doctors and Surgeons Association and added that people should wash their hands, cough or sneeze into their elbow, and avoid areas with poor ventilation. Vulnerable populations, like young children, pregnant women and the elderly, should also avoid visiting the sick.  

She also recommended people get a flu shot. 

You may be interested

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area
Costa Rica
4806 views
Costa Rica
4806 views

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Friday announced a series of health measures to limit mobility in the Greater Metropolitan Area, which…

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020
Costa Rica
21282 views
Costa Rica
21282 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 360 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,845 cumulative known cases, the Health…

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus
Costa Rica
4746 views
Costa Rica
4746 views

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus

The Tico Times - July 10, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…