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Birth of children with microcephaly quadrupled in Costa Rica since the appearance of the Zika virus in 2016

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  • Birth of children with microcephaly quadrupled in Costa Rica since the appearance of the Zika virus in 2016


    Nacimiento de ni?os con microcefalia se cuadruplic? en Costa Rica desde la aparici?n del virus del Zika en 2016
    Se pas? de 30 casos anuales en promedio antes de 2016 a 163 al a?o siguiente y 123 en 2018
    ?ngela ?valos. Hace 2 horas

    Google translation:

    Birth of children with microcephaly quadrupled in Costa Rica since the appearance of the Zika virus in 2016
    It went from 30 annual cases on average before 2016 to 163 the following year and 123 in 2018
    ?ngela Avalos. 2 hours ago

    Children born with their head much smaller than normal are more every year since the Zika virus entered Costa Rica in 2016.

    Health authorities reported this morning that the number of cases of microcephaly increased from an average of 30 per year before 2016, to 163 (five times more) and 123 (four times more) in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

    Microcephaly causes severe problems in the development of minors, substantially compromising their quality of life. It can generate serious visual and auditory difficulties.

    This virus is one of those transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which also infects Dengue and Chikungunya.

    It must be remembered that it is scientifically proven that Zika is also spread sexually.

    The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Ministry of Health activated a campaign to protect 20,000 pregnant women in 31 cantons considered a priority in this issue, with joint resources of ? 455 million.

    Each one will be given a package with a mosquito net impregnated with a chemical that kills mosquitoes. They will also have access to condoms and repellents.

    In total, the CCSS and Health will deliver 24,000 mosquito nets, 40,000 repellents, 600,000 male condoms and 300,000 female condoms.

    The CCSS, in addition, launched a guideline so that its health centers organize every Friday education campaigns so that people remember the basic principles to prevent the infection of these diseases.

    The packages will be distributed in the following cantons and districts: San Jos?, Santa Ana, Desamparados, Alajuelita, P?rez Zeled?n, Alajuela, Atenas, Orotina and Sarapiqu?.

    Also in Liberia, Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Ca?as, La Cruz, Abangares, Puntarenas, C?bano, Lepanto and Paquera.

    Pregnant women will benefit from Esparza, Montes de Oro, Garabito, Parrita, Quepos, Golfito, Corredores, Lim?n, Pococ?, Gu?cimo, Siquirres, Matina and Talamanca, as well as Turrialba.

    Dangerous coincidence

    Daniel Salas Peraza, Minister of Health, clarified that it is still not possible to establish a direct relationship between the infection with the virus and the congenital syndrome due to Zika, but there is a coincidence of the increase in the average number of cases per year with the entry of the virus to the national territory.

    The head added that the mothers of these children belong to the 31 communities declared priority by the infestation of Aedes aegypti and the number of patients.

    The congenital syndrome is attributed to the infection of the mother at some time during pregnancy.

    The mosquito transmitter of dengue reproduces in water tanks such as disused tires, uncleared canoes, and garbage.

    To avoid the reproduction of this insect, it is recommended, among other things, to clean buckets, animal troughs, cannons and canoes; cover and dump containers that can accumulate water, recycle, fumigate and protect with repellents, sleeve and long pants in the places with the highest transmission of these viruses.

    Mario Ruiz Cubillo, medical manager of the CCSS, explained that all these actions are part of the daily activities that are done by primary care technicians (Ataps), who work in all Eb?is.

    The director of Health Surveillance, in the Ministry of Health, Rodrigo Mar?n Rodr?guez, confirmed that this year there is a slight increase of 6% in the number of dengue patients, not in chikungunya (29 patients until the first week of May) and Zika (39 cases).

    Until the epidemiological week 18, which ended on May 4, 711 dengue patients had been reported against 671 in 2018.
    The country is on alert, said Mar?n, because in Nicaragua this year it has reported 20,000 people with dengue. Costa Rica, he added, has the lowest number of cases in all of Central America.

    Mar?n said that the country is preparing for the eventual entry of a new virus, called Mayaro, very similar to dengue and chikungunya, as there are cases reported in Brazil and Ecuador. There is an alert from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), he said.

    It is also transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, hence the importance of avoiding the reproduction of this insect and its bites.