Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Cases of microcephaly quadruple in Costa Rica due to Zika

May 23, 2019

Health authorities reported Wednesday that the births of children with microcephaly in Costa Rica have quadrupled since the appearance of the Zika virus in 2016.

According to data from the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute (INCIENSA), between 2011 and 2015, an average of 30 cases of microcephaly were recorded in national territory. That figure increased to 163 in 2017.

Microcephaly is a neonatal malformation characterized by a head much smaller than that of other children of the same age and sex. It is caused by the Zika virus.

Children with microcephaly may have delayed speech and motor function development, visual and hearing impairments, or other problems associated with neurological abnormalities.

According to INCIENSA, the first imported cases of Zika in Costa Rica were detected in February 2016, before the confirmation of the first autochthonous cases and first outbreaks.

The Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Given the increase in cases of microcephaly, the Health Ministry and the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) are coordinating a strategy whereby all pregnant women from 31 priority cantons receive a preventive kit containing mosquito net, male and female condoms, and repellent.

The investment of 455 million colones (about $774,500) could protect some 20,000 women. The money will fund 16,000 mosquito nets, 40,000 repellents, 600,000 male condoms and 300,000 female condoms.

“Along with these interinstitutional efforts, it is urgent that the population adopt all practices to prevent these diseases, whose consequences leave a trail of pain,” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “In this line it is vital that all families are aware of the elimination of possible breeding sites where the mosquitoes transmitting Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya breed, much more now that the rainy season starts.”

In addition, the Caja will offer counseling and education related supporting practices to cut the transmission of the Zika virus.

Semanario Universidad Logo

This story was originally published by Semanario Universidad on May 22, 2019. It was translated and republished with permission by The Tico Times. Read the original report at Semanario Universidad here.

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 9, 2020
Costa Rica
21253 views
Costa Rica
21253 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 9, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 649 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,485 cumulative known cases, the Health…

Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital
Costa Rica
7560 views
Costa Rica
7560 views

Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Thursday previewed a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José, which could be used…

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports
Costa Rica
4729 views
Costa Rica
4729 views

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

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