Health officials have designated the Hospital de Alajuela and the Hospital Nacional de Niños as locations to confine any ebola sufferers discovered in the country.
Heads of a number of health agencies, including the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, met Monday to discuss responses to the ebola threat.
María Elena López, the minister of Salud, said that her agency is activating an emergency plan for infectious disease that was designed for the H1Ni epidemic. That was the swine flu scare. The minster said that the protocols are in place to care for ebola patients.
A number of agencies were represented at the session, and they are expected to work together in case ebola reaches Costa Rica, officials said. They include the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, Ministerio de Seguridad, Cruz Roja Costarricense, Comisión Nacional de Emergencias and the Cámara de Hoteleros, in addition to the Caja.
María del Rocío Sáenz, executive president of the Caja and a former health minister, said that her organization was obtaining equipment rated for biosecurity level 2. The agency also will begin training. The top biosecurity level is 4.
The health ministry also set up a Web page with suggestions and protocols for an ebola outbreak. That page is HERE!
More than 4,000 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record that began in West Africa in March, according to wire service reports.
In recent months, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published detailed guidelines on how to handle various aspects of ebola, from lab specimens and infectious waste to the proper use of protective equipment.
In Texas some 48 hospital workers are being monitored after a nurse, 26 year-old Nina Pham, contracted the virus in a way that still is not known. That is the same hospital where Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan died last week. Ms. Pham was involved with his care.