Virus prevention is mainly the basics

Health officials agreed Monday that the current wave of respiratory disease is a good reason to wash hands often and thoroughly and to cover mouths when sneezing.

The  Ministerio de Salud issued a health alert that basically means keeping good track of infection cases and making an effort to issue information on preventative measures.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said that one of three cases that are being handled in public hospitals are of older individual.

Usually the respiratory virus is considered serious for children under 1. But the Caja is reporting that nine out of 10 cases in children being handled by public health agencies are of youngsters 2 and under.

The Caja also urged those with symptoms to seek medical care rapidly. The public hospitals and clinics have been flooded with cases of this, the respiratory syncytial virus. The Hospital Nacional de Niño has several hundred of the most serious cases.

The health ministry also said that parents might want to keep uninfected tots in the home and they certainly should avoid large groups. The public school mid-year vacation is in full swing, so class attendance will not be a reason the virus spreads.

Both the ministry and the Caja noted that for most individuals the virus is no more than a cold. But those with health problems, such as asthma, might face a more serious bout.

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