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Costa Rica Confirms First Case of Screwworm Infection

The Ministry of Health and SENASA have officially confirmed the first case of screwworm infection in a person within the country.According to reports, the individual, a resident of the Altamira de Pavones area, sought medical attention at a hospital in Ciudad Neilly following a fall, prompting a sample to be taken.

Subsequently, laboratory tests conducted at the LANASEVE facility confirmed the presence of screwworm larvae, marking the inaugural case of such an infection within Costa Rica.

In response to this development, authorities in the Rectory Area of Golfito have initiated investigations to ascertain the possibility of further cases. Moreover, both the Ministry of Health and SENASA have announced the implementation of an action protocol aimed at addressing and containing potential outbreaks, including conducting extensive sweeps in the affected area.

The established protocol dictates that samples be promptly taken when screwworm infection is suspected, with positive results leading to collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Health, SENASA, and CCSS for effective field coordination.

“Screwworm infection, caused by the larvae of the fly, poses a significant health concern as it can affect both humans and animals. Symptoms typically manifest as painful skin lesions with fluid discharge, indicating the presence of larvae beneath the skin. Treatment necessitates surgical removal of the larvae, followed by meticulous local care to prevent secondary infections,” the Ministry of Health explained in a press release.

The Ministry of Health issued a stern advisory urging individuals who suspect they may have been exposed to screwworm larvae to seek immediate medical attention for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. “Anyone who believes they are infected by this larva should seek medical attention promptly,” they pointed out.

Furthermore, health authorities have confirmed that the diagnosed patient is currently receiving medical care at Golfito Hospital.

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