More cases of the zika virus reported around Jacó

Home-grown reported cases of the zika virus now number 58, according to the Ministerio de Salud. There are 44 cases in Garabito, the canton that includes Jacó. But the latest report also said that one case turned up further down the central Pacific coast in Parrita.

A report a week ago said there were 31 zika cases in Jacó

Many persons who contract the zika virus from a mosquito bite do not show symptoms, so the real number of those who have been infected many be much more.

There also is one reported case in Carrillo, seven in Sámara and one in Nosara, the ministry said in a report released late Wednesday. Those locations are on the far Pacific coast.

In the Central Valley the only area with zika so far continues to be the Concepción section of Alajuelita with four cases.

The ministry also said that 418 patients who thought they had zika were not infected, according to tests.

The symptoms for zika, dengue and other viral diseases can be similar.

In the same report, the ministry notes a big drop off in new dengue cases and of chikungunya. The canton of Atenas still leads the country in the number of reported dengue cases with 1,466. Parrita was second with 1,418 cases, said the ministry.

The ministry said there were 1,420 cases of  chikungunya reported this year and 6,746 cases of dengue.

The impact of the zika virus on tourism still is to be determined. There are anecdotal reports of tourists canceling reservations at Pacific sport fishing firms.

Women of child-bearing age seem to be the most reluctant to visit Costa Rica, one operator said.

Costa Rican health officials are now monitoring three pregnant women who have zika, but no abnormalities have been reported.

Also being treated are nine patients who tested positive for zika but are believed to have contracted the virus elsewhere.

Health officials report more than 300,000 homes have been visited to be checked for mosquito breeding places and perhaps fumigated. They also have eliminated hundreds of thousands of breeding spots, the ministry said.

Of particular concern in Jacó are the World Surfing Games scheduled for August. That is expected to bring in $36 million to the local economy.

Health crews have been working long hours in fumigating suspected mosquito locations.

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