The Ministry of Health confirmed today the first case of simian smallpox, a 34-year-old man from the United States who has resided in Costa Rica for two years. He entered the country last week from a trip abroad and is considered an imported case.
“Unfortunately, we have the first case of monkeypox in Costa Rica,” said Josselyn Chacón, Minister of Health.
According to the Ministry of Health, the patient went to a private health center on July 17 due to health problems and was admitted on July 19 when he presented lesions on his tonsils compatible with monkeypox.
Therefore, the sample was taken and sent to the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), which confirmed the diagnosis by performing a real-time PCR test for this disease.
Additionally, the health authorities indicated that the person was stable, and an isolation order was issued for 21 days, according to the general guidelines for Smallpox Surveillance. He will be followed up according to his clinical evolution. The Ministry of Health also follows up with five people living in the same house.
Minister Chacón confirmed that the contagion of this disease is much lower, and there is no airborne transmission.
“I call on you to remain calm; it is a self-limiting disease; it’s not like covid, ” the Minister of Health said during the press conference.
Chacón also highlighted that Costa Rican laboratories can now detect the virus. Previously, tests had to be sent out to other countries for analysis.
The virus’ main symptoms are fever, headache, swelling, back pain, general discomfort, and muscle pain. Once the fever is gone, a rash may develop on the face and can spread to the hands and feet.
Health authorities confirmed that the infected person is recovering at home and following established protocols. The Ministry of Health will provide appropriate follow-up.