Monday, April 27, 2009

Costa Rica free of swine flu, but maintains alert

Costa Rica's Minister of Health Maria Luis Avila holds surgical face masks during a news conference in San Jose April 28, 2009. Costa Rica found a San Jose, Costa Rica, (Inside Costa Rica) -As of now, no cases of swine flu have been documented in Costa Rica, as health officials face the possible arrival of the influenza. Sunday afternoon, the Costa Rican Health Ministry ruled out nine potential cases of swine flu, while five others are under observation.

In total 14 threats, all the cases involving adults, are under the watchful eye of health officials, although one case is under close observation.

Costa Rica's Health Minister, Maria Luisa Avila, confirmed yesterday that the swine flu has not reached Costa Rica, but authorities cannot let down their guard.

The health minister said that health authorities will immediately take samples for laboratory testing of any person arriving to Costa Rica or anyone who has suspicious symptoms, but it takes up to 24 hours to have the results.

The health minister said that all medical clinics and hospitals have their prevention protocols activated and are on full alert.

Avila, on live television this morning, said that if people travel to Mexico the should take appropriate measures to minimize the risk of contagion and that Costa Rican immigration officials at the airports are on full alert.

The minister said, that although people should not let their guard down, they should continue with their lives normally.

"The virus that has hit the U.S and Mexico has shown to be sensitive to the antivirals, which means if the antivirals are taken in time and not when in need, resistance to the virus begins", said minister Avila.

Asked about consuming pork or not, the minister was emphatic that consuming pork does not represent any risk as long as the pork meat is fully cooked and there is no alert of any type that indicates not to consume pork.

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