Parrita battles medical effects of Tropical Storm Tomas

Parrita residents who suffered through the effects of Tropical Storm Tomas are now suffering through illnesses blamed on the storm, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Edgar Carrillo Rojas, director of the local Área de Salud, said that since the third day of heavy rains at the beginning of the month the cases of diarrhea have tripled. The clinic is getting 45 patients a day instead of the usual 15, he said. Among those ill are persons who came to the area to provide help to those affected by the storm.

The physician blamed the problem on inadequate preparation of food and weaknesses in hygiene. The workers at the Parrita clinic have embarked on a publicity campaign and training to stem the increase in illnesses.
The Caja clinic also is reporting respiratory problems, which are being blamed on the large quantity of water in the area and lower temperature.

Many residents of Parrita had three feet of water in their home and had to wade through flooded streets for days. Other effects of the storm include depression, post traumatic stress and anxiety, said the physician. Psychiatrists and psychologists form the Central Valley have been assigned to the area, he said. The physician said that a change in the weather should reduce the number of respiratory cases.

On another front, the Caja sent teams of physicians and nurses to San Isidro de Dota, a mountain community that still was cut off by storm damage. Of the 65 persons living there, 10 had diarrhea and vomiting and others had respiratory problems, stress and diabetes, the Caja said.

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