Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Costa Rica reports second Swine flu death

The flu virus that's claimed 311 lives worldwide played a hand in the death of a 35-year-old woman from San Jose Sunday.

The woman had a severe case of pneumonia, health officials reported, and it was only after she died that the strain was detected.

The Health Minister, Maria Luisa Avila, would not reveal the name of the woman, her home town or the hospital she was admitted to, but did say that the woman also suffered from hypertension and obesity.

The woman, who was between 50 and 70 percent over her recommended weight, was admitted to a hospital in critical condition and had no history of having been in contact with others infected with the flu virus.

“We haven't identified any source,” said Daniel Salas, spokesman and doctor at the Health Ministry. “ We are currently investigating where the strain could have come from.”

Costa Rica has 210 confirmed cases and two deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Health Ministry. In mid-May, a 53-year-old man from Heredia, north of San Jose, died of several health complications, the Influenza A(H1N1) virus among them.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Oscar Arias attends SICA summit in Managua

Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias, left, and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon talk during the Central American Integration System, or SICA, summit in Managua, Monday, June 29, 2009.

The Organization of American States called an emergency meeting for Tuesday to consider suspending Honduras under an agreement meant to prevent the sort of coups that for generations made Latin America a spawning ground of military dictatorships.

The Honduran army ousted and exiled leftist President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War. (AP Photo/Miguel Alvarez)

Zelaya leaves for Nicaragua summit

Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya is greeted in Heredia by two Honduran supporters living in Costa Rica, before leaving for Nicaragua to attend the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit, June 28, 2009.

The Honduran army ousted and exiled leftist President Zelaya on Sunday in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War, triggered by his bid to make it legal to seek another term in office.

Zelaya, 56, told Venezuela-based Telesur television station that he was "kidnapped" by soldiers and barely given time to change out of his pajamas. He was later bundled onto a military plane to Costa Rica. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Honduran president forced to Costa Rica after coup

Hondura's President Manuel Zelaya, left, speaks as Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias looks on during a press conference at the Juan Santamaria International airport in San Jose, Sunday, June 28, 2009. Soldiers seized Honduras' national palace and sent Zelaya into exile in Costa Rica on Sunday, hours before a disputed constitutional referendum. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Earth Times) - Soldiers on Sunday morning staged a coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, evicting him to Costa Rica and confiscating documents from the executive mansion. Honduras' unicameral National Congress later Sunday agreed to remove Zelaya from office and designated Congress Speaker Roberto Micheletti as his successor.

Soldiers apprehended Zelaya and forced him to depart to Costa Rica after days of mounting political tensions over a proposed referendum, which Zelaya's opponents said was nothing more than a power grab.

A vote had been planned for Sunday that would have registered popular support for a proposed constitutional change that could have led to Zelaya's re-election. Current law would have prevented him from running again after his term ended in November.

The country's supreme court said it had authorized the coup to hinder the referendum. If approved, the non-binding referendum would have given Zelaya authority to progress with plans to rewrite the constitution.

According to the statement, the military was told to cooperate with government prosecutors to confiscate all documents associated with the referendum.

The statement did not make clear who gave the authority for Zelaya's arrest and deportation to Costa Rica. It stated that the military had worked to protect the rule of law and that all its actions were based on judicial orders.

Zelaya decried the coup from Costa Rica, where he said soldiers sent him after the military action.

"There is no justification for this coup," said Zelaya in an interview with a Venezuelan broadcaster that was also carried by CNN.

"It was a kidnapping," said Zelaya. He said the soldiers threatened him with guns. "They pointed at my chest and head and said they were just following orders."

Zelaya later said he still plans to attend a regional leadership summit in Managua on Monday.

Speaking in Costa Rica, he said he continues to serve as the legitimate president of Honduras. He called on the people of Honduras to engage in peaceful resistance to the coup.

"The Honduran people will never accept this illegal regime," he said.

In a White House statement, US President Barack Obama said he backed a call by the Organisation of American States (OAS) urging all the parties in the Central American country to respect the democratic and legal rules of Honduras.

Senior US administration officials told reporters that the United States continues to recognize Zelaya as the democratically elected leader of Honduras. Washington would join the OAS in condemning the coup and working to restore democratic order, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The OAS condemned the coup and said it would not recognize any government but that of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. The international body's Permanent Council called for the "immediate, safe and unconditional return" of Zelaya to his office in a resolution adopted at an emergency meeting at its Washington headquarters.

It called the coup "an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order" and also condemned the reported detention of Foreign Affairs Minister Patricia Rodas and other government officials. The OAS General Assembly will hold a special session on the coup on Tuesday.

Supporters of Zelaya stormed into downtown Tegucigalpa, shouting and occasionally lashing out at soldiers, who did their best to ignore them out of fear of provoking more violence.

Zelaya has been locked in a power struggle with other state institutions over efforts that seem designed to extend his term in office and change parts of the constitution. Sunday's referendum was to gauge public support for those proposals.

Local media reported that military units had occupied the executive mansion and confiscated materials that Zelaya had prepared for use in the vote.

His efforts have met with resistance from various institutions. The supreme court and Congress have both opposed the referendum. He also ran into opposition from the army when General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez refused a presidential request to provide logistical support for the referendum.

That standoff led Zelaya to fire Vasquez Velasquez, a move that was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court on Thursday.

The Honduran military on Friday had deployed hundreds of soldiers across the capital of Tegucigalpa to maintain calm. Soldiers were told to keep potential troublemakers out of the capital, though those who did not seem to pose a threat were allowed regular access.

Under the current constitution, Zelaya cannot run for re-election in the presidential balloting November 29. Zelaya was elected in 2006 as a conservative, but later reversed his policies and now has scant support from leftist groups and trade unions.

The tension has caused international waves, with leaders of left-leaning Latin American leaders like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega weighing in to back Zelaya. Chavez has used similar referendums to change the constitution and extend his term in office.

Honduran election officials confirmed that presidential elections will go ahead in November as originally scheduled, despite the coup.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Costa Rica defeats Venezuela in soccer friendly

Venezuela's Yonathan Del Valle, left, fights for the ball with Costa Rica's Harold Wallace during their friendly soccer match at Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in San Jose, Saturday, June 27, 2009. Costa Rica won the game 1-0 with a goal scored by striker Alvaro Saborio in the 38th minute. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

New skating rink opens in La Sabana Park

(Photo by Laura Sanchez/Tico Times)(Tico Times) - Carlos Grijalba does laps around the new skater rink that was innaugurated Saturday in western San Jose's La Sabana Park by President Oscar Arias.

The new $588,000 complex sits on the park's southeast corner and consists of a 200 meter track, with an internal concrete field for figure skating and other recreational activities.

The rink meets all requirements for international competition. The facility's first official event is planned for September, when Costa Rica will host the 14th Central American Student Games. Until then, the complex will be open to the public.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Patti Blagojevich back in Illinois

Former First Lady of Illinois Patti Blagojevich signs autographs while ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich holds daughter Annie after she arrivied at Ohare Airport in Chicago, Thursday, June, 25, 2009. Blagojevich came back from Costa Rica after participating in NBC's 'I'm A Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here.' (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Agriculture hit hard by crisis

A farmer checks a plantation of lettuce in Chicua de Cartago June 23, 2009. Agricultural producers have seen their exports reduced by 20 percent in the current global economic crisis, said Monica Araya, president of the Chamber of Exporters. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Israeli tourist shot dead in Costa Rica

By Mike McDonald
Tico Times Staff

Itai Elias, a 26-year-old Israeli tourist, was shot and killed early Monday in the Costa Rican central Pacific coast town of Jacó, police said.

The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) reported Elias was shot once in the right clavicle at 4:55 a.m. near Pops ice cream shop in Jaco. Elias died at 5:25 a.m.

Witnesses reported that five people drove by the area in a car Monday morning. Local OIJ officials did not have any clues to the identity of the five assailants other than their gender – three men and two women.

Officials did not know the make or model of the car as of Monday afternoon, but said they were investigating the murder.

Israeli news reports have differed from local reports on details such as the exact location of the shooting and the duration of Elias' visit. The Tico Times confirmed the above information with the Jaco office of the OIJ.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cianchette's term as ambassador to Costa Rica ends

Portland, Maine (AP) - The term of office of U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Peter Cianchette (Chin-KEHT') has ended and he says he's looking forward to returning to his home state of Maine.

In a statement released Friday by the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Cianchette said his most memorable experiences include implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. He also cited the many security, educational, humanitarian and disaster relief efforts that have benefited the people of Costa Rica and the U.S.

A South Portland businessman, Cianchette was nominated by President George W. Bush and became ambassador last year. He was the 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee and headed the Bush-Cheney campaign in Maine two years later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

License plate driving restrictions deemed unconstitutional

By Daniel Shea
Tico Times Staff

After nearly a year in the law books, driving restrictions based on the final digit on Costa Rican license plates have been removed, leaving people free to drive whenever they like with no fear of fines.

Last Friday, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled the driving limitations unconstitutional. And on Monday, Costa Ricans with license plates that end in the numbers one and two were officially allowed to drive on the first day of the week again.

The law was first implemented in July 2008 as a three-pronged effort to address a few long-overlooked problems in the Central Valley, said German Marin, the director of the Traffic Police.

“There were three important ideas,” Marin said. “First, to reduce the consumption of gasoline being used by drivers; second, to lower the number of vehicles entering the municipal area of San Jose and the congestion they caused.” The third idea was to allow more space to restructure the downtown parking system, which tends to be overwhelmed.

The law gave each day of the work week two corresponding numbers. If a driver's license plate ended in one of those two numbers, they were restricted from driving on that specific day of the week. At close to $10, the fine for violation was rather light – though that amount was to be raised in September.

As would be expected when 20 percent of drivers aren't allowed to get behind the wheel, the law reduced traffic during the weekday by about 20 percent, Marin said.

That reduction, though, was contrasted by the number of Costa Ricans who took advantage of their newfound freedom to operate and took back to the streets Monday.

“Today has been very complicated,” Marin said of Monday. “There were a lot of vehicles on the roads and an increase in the number of accidents.”

The number of accidents rose to 79 on Monday from 49 a week prior, he said.

The Traffic Police and the Public Works and Transport Ministry are waiting to see the Constitutional Chamber's ruling, so they can reevaluate their plan to reduce congestion. They are in favor of pursuing a similar law in the future, Marin said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Almost one ton of cocaine found in sharks shipped from Costa Rica

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 16, 2009, men unload shark carcasses that allegedly contain cocaine at the port of Progreso, in the Mexican state of Yucatan. The Mexican Navy reported Tuesday that it detected a shipment of cocaine hidden inside the carcasses of frozen sharks aboard a freight ship at the Gulf coast port of Progreso. (AP Photo)Mexico City (AP) – Mexican authorities found nearly one ton of cocaine hidden inside frozen shark carcasses.

Prosecutors said they seized hundreds of cocaine packages stuffed in the bellies of dozens of dead sharks. The shipment, seized in the Gulf port of Progreso, contained 1,965 pounds (893 kilograms) of cocaine.

The Attorney General's Office says the sharks were found in two containers on Tuesday.

The containers had been shipped from Costa Rica. There was no immediate information on its intended destination.

The 870 packages were found wrapped in plastic and inserted in the sharks.

Drug traffickers are increasingly shipping drugs bound for the U.S. market through Central America.

The prosecutors comments were made on Wednesday.

Arenal volcano eruption forces evacuation of tourists

(Inside Costa Rica) - The Arenal volcano put on a great show for tourists and locals alike yesterday, with three major eruptions, however the eruption was so intense that a group of 50 tourists in the national park has to be evacuated as a preventive measure.

The eruptions were said to be of "great intensity", as gas, rocks and ashes spewed out of the great colossus.

Officials from the National Seismologic System explained that they had been keeping a close eye on the volcano since 7 a.m. when activity increased considerably, including sending off tremors.

Mario Quiros, head of the park rangers at the Arenal Park, said that the first eruptions were intense and the following where much calmer.

(Note: image used only for illustrative purposes, it does not depict the eruption mentioned here.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New study to predict next Costa Rica dengue fever outbreak

(Tico Times) - University of Miami scientists have developed a model to predict the next outbreak of dengue fever in Costa Rica.

Using a combination of ocean temperatures and vegetation measures, their research can detect when and where dengue fever will arise up to 40 weeks in advance.

Because the mosquito that carries the virus requires a very specific climate, by identifying when such climatic conditions will arise, scientists can pinpoint at-risk areas.

"With this knowledge, (health officials) can potentially take extra precautionary measures in getting the message out there to use more bug spray, don't let water stand, wear more protective clothes, etc." said Douglas Fuller, University of Miami associate professor and the study's co-author.

Though his team of researchers has not projected out to 2009 and 2010, Fuller is hoping their initial research will help them find the funding and support to do so. Eventually, he hopes to conduct similar studies in Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

"(Dengue fever) has become a raging problem," said Fuller. "The number of cases is out of control in many parts of Latin America, especially Brazil. Even with our predictions, this is a multifaceted problem and it's going to take many years to solve."

According to numbers recently released in May by the Health Ministry, the number of dengue fever cases in Costa Rica dropped by 46.7 percent in the first 17 weeks of this year (compared to 2008), which health officials attributed to "prevention and control actions."

Most of the cases this year have been located in the central Pacific region (668), followed by the Caribbean province of Limón (161) and the northwestern Nicoya peninsula (99).

Dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes are active during the day and more often found in urban areas. The disease's transmission can be prevented with bug spray and a layering of clothes.

Symptoms for dengue include a severe headache, muscle and joint pains, fever and a bright red rash.

Monday, June 15, 2009

China, Costa Rica in third round of trade talks

(photo: AFP FILE)San Jose (AFP) - China pressed Costa Rica on Monday for a wider opening of its market in a third round of talks towards a free trade treaty which negotiators aim to complete this year, officials said.

Costa Rica -which gave up six decades of ties with Taiwan in favor of China two years ago- is the third Latin American country to negotiate a free trade deal with China after Chile and Peru.

Costa Rica's chief negotiator, Fernando Ocampo, said the government had consulted with companies to prepare an improved offer for China.

"We have entered the phase of discussing sensitive issues across the board," Ocampo said.

Zhu Hong, the head of the Chinese delegation, told reporters that China is urging Costa Rica to return to an earlier offer, which includes 70% of Chinese products entering the country tax-free over a five to 10-year period.

China, in turn, is offering a tax-free opening for 94.5% of Costa Rican products, excluding sugar, meat and coffee.

Trade between the two countries has grown rapidly, from $91.1 million in 2000 to $1.6 billion in 2007, according to the Costa Rican government figures.

A major exporter of computer components, Costa Rica has dismissed fears of an invasion of Chinese products into the country as it seeks to diversify ties amid worldwide financial woes.

After the current round of talks, Costa Rican and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to hold three more rounds in September, October, and either November or December.

"We just celebrated the second anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Since then we've advanced a lot in all areas," Wan Xiaoyuan, the Chinese ambassador to San Jose, said at the opening of the three-day talks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

AH1N1 flu cases climb to 118

The number of cases of AH1N1 flu virus in Costa Rica continues to grow and at an alarming rate.

On Thursday the Health Ministry confirmed another 14 new cases, bringing the total now to 118 people infected with the virus.

Health Minister Maria Luisa Avila said the majority of the new cases are in San Jose and Heredia.

The ministra was emphatic that no one is currenlty hospitalized, as all the cases have been light. There are still 129 cases of that are awaiting laboratory test results.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

H1N1 cases break the 100 mark in Costa Rica

(Tico Times) - The number of people infected with the Influenza A(H1N1) virus in Costa Rica broke the hundred mark this week, although most of the cases are showing light symptoms and swift recoveries, health authorities said.

On Wednesday Health Ministry officials said the number of confirmed cases rose to 104, with 10 more “highly probably” cases still pending confirmation.

A total 114 cases are pending test results for the H1N1 virus.

Nearly 90 percent of the confirmed cases here have been detected in people under 39 years old, 22 of whom are under the age of 10 and another 13 people infected are over 40, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

Both the Blue Valley School, in Escazu, west of San Jose, and the Saint Anthony School in Tibas, north of the capital, closed after learning of at least three children with H1N1, the daily La Nacion reported Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boston Scientific opens new plant in Costa Rica

Boston Scientific inaugurated its second production plant in Costa Rica at Propark free-trade zone in Coyol, Alajuela, north of San Jose. The company has almost doubled its original 2004 investment in Costa Rica, with the new facility's price reaching nearly $30 million and plans to double its 1,700 work force here in the coming two years. (Photo: Ronald Reyes/Tico Times)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

AH1N1 flu virus cases in Costa Rica now at 93

(Photo:Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate)(Inside Costa Rica) - The AH1N1 flu virus keeps on infecting more and more Ticos each day, with the total number of infected now at 93, according to the Health Minstry.

Health authorities said that the those between the ages of 20 and 29 and children up to nine years of age have been the most affected by the virus, representing 72 percent of the cases.

Health offcials are asking the population not to let down their guard, especially with the beginning of the rainy season, when the circulation of viruses is greater and with the increase in the common seasonal flu.

People should continue with a strict hygiene, covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching items like cellular phones, shopping cart handles at the supermarket and on a public bus.

Of the total number of cases, 58 are in San Jose; seven in Alajuela; 20 in Heredia; six in Cartago; and, two in Guanacaste.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Laura Chinchilla wins ruling party's primary vote

Laura Chinchilla meets and greets supporters gathered in celebration after she clinched the National Liberation Party's primary election on Sunday (Photo: Ronald Reyes/Tico Times)By Chrissie Long
Tico Times Staff

Laura Chinchilla beat her National Liberation Party rivals in a primary election victory Sunday that puts her in line to seek to become Costa Rica's first female president.

With less than 20 percent of the votes counted Sunday evening, party officials said the former vice president Chinchilla came in 10 percentage points ahead of former San Jose mayor Johnny Araya.

San Jose came alive throughout the day as campaign flags flapped outside honking vehicles, green and white paraphernalia decorated streets and buildings and voters clogged traffic in a day at the polls to choose the governing National Liberation Party's (PLN) presidential candidate.

"It's beautiful," said Norma Cecilia Castro, as she directed voters to tables in the Liceo de San Jose school in Barrio Mexico. "There is a lot of voting and the people are happy."

Pointing to a line of voters 12 deep, she said, "Look at the lines. It's wonderful."

"It's an important day," said Gonzalo Ureña, helping the Laura Chinchilla campaign in the center of Escazu. "For the first time, we are going to elect a woman to the presidency; a woman with power, a woman with principles and values and someone who will carry on the good work of this government."

Two weeks before the election, Chinchilla was 11 percentage points ahead in the polls. Said to have current President Oscar Arias's support, Chinchilla represents a continuation of his government to many voters.

The poll, conducted by Unimer for the daily La Nacion, was a call to arms for Araya and his followers. During the primary election, Araya supporters had a fleet of cars on hand streaming back and forth from voters' homes, hoping to collect a few last votes.

In stark contrast to last week's convention, in which the opposition group Citizen Action Party (PAC) hosted its first primary (with voting limited to registered party members and less than 30 percent turnout), the PLN's polling stations were celebrations in themselves, with loud music blasted over speakers, children chasing after balloons and neighbors chatting in long lines.

Chinchilla will face the PAC's candidate Otton Solis, along with a slew of other candidates from smaller parties in February 2010.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Costa Rica beats Trinidad and Tobago 3-2 in WC qualifier

Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio, right, controls the ball as Trinidad and Tobago's Marvin Andrews looks on during a World Cup 2010 qualifying game in Bacolet, on the island of Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, Saturday, June 6, 2009. Costa Rica won the match 3-2 and remains in first place of the group. (AP Photo/Frederic Dubray)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Heidi Pratt hospitalized in Costa Rica

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are shown in an episode of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!(Tyler Golden/NBCU Photo Bank/AP Photo)Hills star Heidi Pratt has been rushed to a Costa Rican hospital with an undisclosed medical emergency, Usmagazine.com has learned exclusively.

Pratt's husband, Spencer -who is competing with his wife on NBC's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here- is traveling with her to the hospital, a source in Costa Rica confirms.

No further details have been made available as to the specifics of Heidi's condition or what it means for the series.

NBC could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lula da Silva visits Costa Rica

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, center, greets children upon his arrival to the presidential house as Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias look on at left in San Jose, Wednesday, June 3, 2009. Lula is in Costa Rica, the last stop of his Central American tour, for an official two-day visit. During Lula's visit the two leaders will talk, among other things, about the treatment of sewage waters and the production of ethanol to use as a fuel. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Costa Rica crushes US 3-1 in WC qualifier

Pablo Herrera, right, of the Costa Rica national soccer team celebrates after scoring a goal against the US national team during a South Africa 2010 World Cup qualifier match in San Jose Wednesday June 3, 2009. Center right is Landon Donovan of the US team.

With the victory Costa Rica took command of the first place in the six-team regional finals of North and Central America and the Caribbean with nine points.

(AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Solis gets third chance to be president of Costa Rica

(AP Photo/FILE)(Inside Costa Rica) - The Citizens Action Party (PAC) hosted its first convention since its formation in 2000, where three contenders vied for the leadership nod to lead the party into the 2010 presidential elections, finally electing party founder, Otton Solis.

This will be the third chance for Solis to become president. The 55-year-old economist has been at the helm of a party that he founded in 2000, making his first presidential bid in 2001 and almost winning it in 2006, when he came within a few votes of beating Oscar Arias.

With only 366 of the 411 voting stations reporting, Solis had an overall 71 percent support for the leadership, while Epsy Campbell saw a 18 percent support and third runner, Roman Macaya, with only 10 percent.

The major support for Solis came from San Jose.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Number of confirmed AH1N1 virus cases climbs to 49

(Photo: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters)(Inside Costa Rica) The Health Ministry confirmed 12 new cases of the AH1N1 flu virus in Costa Rica, bringing the total number of infected to 49.

The Health Minister, Maria Luisa Avila, explained that the latest to be infected is a young man suffering from asthma and is in hospital under quarantine.

The majority of the infected are from San Jose, Heredia, Montes de Oca (San Pedro) and Guadalupe.

For the Health vice minister, Ana Morice, is more important to contemplate how the virus affects humans and not as mush as the number of nations it has affected. Morice explained that WHO officials are reviewing their criteria to the definitions.

The AH1N1 virus called an alert for the virus on April 24, 2009, when the first case was reported in Mexico.

on April 27, the first case of infection of the virus is reported in Costa Rica, when a 21 year old woman was diagnosed after returing from her trip to Mexico three days earlier.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has maintained a level 5 worldwide alert for the virus that was first declared on April 28.

On May 5, a 53 year old man, suffering from diabetes and pneumonia, became the first recorded death attributed to the virus in Costa Rica. Costa Rica also became one of four nations to report a death from the AH1N1 virus. The man had infected three others, who recovered without complications.

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