Three new cases of respiratory viruses recorded every minute, Caja says

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three new cases of respiratory viruses are recorded each minute by the small, local clinics of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, according to a statement by the group.

Data from the Área de Salud Colectiva said there are an average of 34,000 cases attended each week in the country. The Caja believes that this figure could be reduced with greater prevention methods on the part of individuals.

Dr. Antonio García, an epidemiologist with the Caja, emphasized this point particularly with persons already suffering with chronic illnesses or receiving treatment that lowers the immune system. He also opposes the trend of not seeking care when health people obtain an infection and put it off in the hopes that it is only a fleeting annoyance.

To prevent this, the recommendations are simple: wash one’s hands and keep places clean. Symptoms usually begin one to four days after the virus enters the body, the Caja said. “Most adults can pass on to others from one day before the symptoms develop and up to seven days after the onset of illness,” the Caja’s announcement said.

The epidemiological surveillance unit of the Caja found that 13 percent of all incoming patients in the intensive care unit had acute respiratory infections. Warning signs include: high fever, difficulty breathing, accelerated breathing, bluish color around the mouth and temporary loss of consciousness for seniors.

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