Confirmed cases of zika seem to be spreading down Pacific coast

Reported cases of infection by the zika virus are moving down the central and south Pacific costs.

The Ministerio de Salud said Wednesday that one case has been reported in Quepos and that the total in Parrita now is five. There are two reported cases in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa peninsula, said the ministry in its weekly report.

In addition the total of reported cases in the canton of Garabito, which includes the community of Jacó, now is at 63.

Three cases have been confirmed in Barranca and one in Esparza and Montes de Oro de Miramar.

One case has ben confirmed in Cóbano on the southern Nicoya peninsula. Seven cases were confirmed earlier in  Sámara on the peninsula’s west coast as well as one in nearby Nosara.

There also is one case in Santa Cruz. One case has been confirmed in La Cruz is extreme northwest Costa Rica near the border with Nicaragua.

Two cases have been reported in San Mateo and one each in San Francisco de Heredia, Grecia and Guacimo. The first case on the Caribbean coast has been reported in Limón.

The location where a zika patient lives does not necessarily mean they contracted the disease there. And the ministry is

keeping a separate count of the 11 persons who probably contracted the disease outside the country.

The count for those who probably contracted the disease in Costa Rica is now 98, according to the ministry statistics.

The ministry also reported that the number of pregnant women infected with the virus is now five.

The chief epidemiologist for the health ministry, Rodrigo Marín, is appearing on a Channel 7 promotion encouraging residents to destroy places where the Aedes aegypti mosquito can breed. He makes the point that there usually are 10 cases of dengue for every one that is reported officially. He said that 30,000 reported dengue cases may mean 300,000 persons have had dengue.

Although he did not speculate on how many latent zika cases exist, research shows that many persons who are infected show no symptoms, although it is possible for them to pass on the disease.

Zika, of course, can cause major damage to children still in the womb, in some cases. So far no such cases have been diagnosed here, said the ministry.

Zika has taken the focus off of other diseases transmitted by the same mosquito species. So far this year there have been 1,459 cases of chikungunya and 7,376 cases of dengue. New cases of both these diseases have dropped in the last six week, but health officials expect increased now that the rainy season is here.

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