A 26-year-old woman became the 11th person to die as a result of the coronavirus in Costa Rica, the Health Ministry announced Monday night.
The Costa Rican resident of Alajuela died shortly after her May 30 arrival to the Guatuso health clinic. She was not tested for the coronavirus until after her death.
Though a family member and her medical records said the woman had demonstrated no respiratory symptoms prior to her death, an autopsy revealed the woman had suffered from pulmonary edema, or excess fluid in the lungs.
Following protocol, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) requested that the national reference laboratory test her for the coronavirus; the positive result was received Monday.
The 26-year-old is Costa Rica’s youngest coronavirus-related death. Her only known risk factor was asthma.
“An investigation regarding this case and her contacts continues,” the Health Ministry said.
Health Minister Daniel Salas said that while the organization believes COVID-19 may have contributed to the woman’s death, it was not necessarily the direct cause.
“Not everyone with the virus died because of the virus,” Salas said.
Costa Rica has confirmed 1,342 cumulative cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Monday afternoon. Of those, 712 people (53.1%) have recovered, 11 people have died (.8%) and 620 cases (46.2%) remain active.
Nineteen people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Costa Rica. The country’s health authorities have said that hypertension and smoking are the biggest risk factors for patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.
If you believe you may have COVID-19 or have questions regarding the coronavirus, contact Costa Rican health authorities by dialing 1322.
We updated this story on June 9 with more information from the Health Ministry.