Health monitor cites increase in swine flu cases and one death

In Costa Rica there has been an increase in H1N1 cases since the end of last year that has resulted in one fatality.

That news comes from the Vigilancia de la Salud in Costa Rica and the Ministerio de Salud.

There have been eight confirmed cases with the H1N1 influenza type A virus formerly known as swine flu, from late November to the present. All patients have been adults between the ages of 20 and 62 years old.

Out of the eight patients diagnosed with the virus, seven were admitted into national hospitals in San José, such as Hospital Calderón Guardia and Hospital San Juan de Dios, said Maria Ethel Trejos, director of the Vigilancia de la Salud.

There has also been an increase in seasonal influenza, AH3, in the country. So far there are a confirmed 38 patients diagnosed
with seasonal influenza. Last year there was one reported death from this illness, said Ms. Trejos.

She said the symptoms are very similar to the common cold, but she said people must take precautions if they are having trouble breathing. Most will endure the common cold, nasal congestion, but take action if a soar throat is continuous without relief, said Trejos.

The cold climate is one of the culprits to the illnesses but also the lack of proper hygiene, said a spokesperson for the Ministerio de Salud. Many people don’t cover their mouths when they cough or don’t consistently wash their hands, and these are very important protocols to follow to stay healthy, said the spokesperson. The spokesperson stressed the importance of the practice of correct hygiene for others.

Another recommendation was for those who are sick to stay home, to try not to expose themselves to others and to practice isolation. This way, the spokesperson said, germs will be harder to pass.

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