Dry season continues to see many respiratory problems

The dry season continues to see viral and bacterial infections that result in respiratory problems, vomiting and diarrhea.

The Minsterio de Salud said there are about 70 cases a week, although the count only includes those cases that resulted in clinic or hospital treatment.

The young appear to suffer the most with the return to school Feb. 6 exposing many more children to rotoviruses and various respiratory infections.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization continues to count those sickened by a new virus. A third patient in Britain has contracted a new SARS-like virus, becoming the second confirmed British case in a week and showing the deadly infection is being spread from person to person, health officials said on Wednesday.

The latest case, in a man from the same family as another patient, brings the worldwide number of confirmed infections with the new virus, known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV, to 11. Of those, five have died. Most of the infected lived or had recently been in the Middle East. Three have been diagnosed in Britain.

NCoV was identified when the World Health Organization issued an international alert in September 2012 saying a virus previously unknown in humans had infected a Qatari man who had recently been in Saudi Arabia.

The virus belongs to the same family as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, a coronavirus that emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. Symptoms common to both viruses include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.

Costa Rican health officials reported that a teen in Pérez Zeledón died of a respiratory infection last month, but he was in poor general health.

Hand washing is the recommended protection against rotoviruses and other pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, shigella and clostridium, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, which runs the hospitals.

In fact, the Caja reported that in 2011 diarrhea in youngsters under 10 was cut by 80 percent in Coto Brus with a hand-washing campaign.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.