Costa Rica Health News – Is there an outbreak that we should be worried about in Costa Rica? Health officials have an outbreak on their hands. The southern region of San Jose and also Limon are experiencing a spreading case of tuberculosis. The San Juan de Dios Hospital has treated 15 patients for the disease in the first quarter of the year, so they have announced the situation as an outbreak.
The reason the disease is getting so much attention now is that there are twice as many outbreaks this year, compared to last. The same number we saw in the first quarter of 2014 we saw in the first half of 2013. Those from Hatillo, Alajuelita, Pavas, and Limon should pay close attention to what symptoms to look for. The first sign is usually a cough that lasts for more than three weeks.
TB is a disease characterized by a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and can also spread to other organs. Treatment is available but takes time, so the disease can lead to death.
The popular thought was that TB had been eradicated from the country, but that is not the case, as explained by Hilda Salazar, the coordinator of the Influenza vaccine and the Tuberculosis Health Ministry.
Most cases occur in at-risk persons and among vulnerable populations. The Ministry of health reported that there are about 470 cases per year and that between 2008 and 2012, there were 226 TB related deaths.