Thursday, July 16, 2009

AH1N1 deaths now at nine in Costa Rica

(Inside Costa Rica) - Costa Rica health officials have confirmed nine deaths from the AH1N1 flu virus. The confirmation of the latest two deaths was made by the health minister, Maria Luisa Avila.

The minister explained that victim number eight is a 20-year-old man suffering from congenital defects and a limited thorax that made it difficult for him to breathe once inffected with the virus. The ninth victim is a 51-year-old man with high blood pressure and was diabetic.

The minister confirmed that Costa Rica now has 428 confirmed cases, of which 85 are hospitalized, 65 of which are in quarantine.

Avila said Costa Rica is at the highest peak of the pandemic.

Measures announced this week to combat the spread of the flu virus includes the extension of the mid-year school break by one week and strict health measures for the "romeria" (annual pilgrimage to Cartago) in two weeks.

Avila explained that the romeria is a go, but health officials will be updating their advisory in the days before the walk, which may be cancelled if the situation in the country does not improve.

To date health officials have investigated some 4.500 reports of infection.

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