Health minister says zika fight is for all

The health minister took to television Sunday night to tell Costa Ricans that each resident needs to fight against the zika virus.

The minister, Fernando Llorca Castro, outlined the extensive steps that the government has taken and will take to eliminate mosquitoes and their breeding places. But he said that every Costa Rican has to act because the responsibility begins in the home, in the school, and in the workplace.

“Everyone of us, you, your neighbors, the community and including me are in the first front in this fight for our health and our country,” said the minister.

Llorca noted that the incidence of the disease is negligible in Costa Rica when compared to the hundreds and thousands infected in other countries. However, with the exception of Chile and Canada, countries at the extremes of the hemisphere, no country will avoid the virus, he said.

He noted that the same mosquitoes that carry zika also carry dengue and chykungunya.

His television talk was accompanied with a video of workers spraying for mosquitoes. He noted that a sanitary emergency has been declared in 31 cantons over the virus. The confirmed cases are on the Nicoya peninsula, mainly in the beach town of Sámara.

Among other actions, the video suggested cleaning roof gutters where water accumulates when drainage is blocked. It also warned against having open water in receptacles for plants.

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