Costa Rican expats quickly learn
the advantages of the local feria
where farmers offer fresh
vegetables and other goodies at
below-supermarket prices. Each
community has one or more
ferias on specific days of the
week. This one is the Feria
Agropecuaria de Coronado in the canton
of that name.
not a concern in Costa Rica
By the Retire NOW
in Costa Rica staff
The latest outbreak of the mosquito-born zika
virus is not a big worry in Costa Rica, unlike
in neighboring countries. Consequently, tourists
and those seeking a better life are not being
advised to take any precautions except those
usual to guard against mosquitoes.
The health ministry has discarded 161 cases of
possible zika infections since the
beginning of the year, according to data
provided by the Ministerio de Salud.
According to Daniel Salas, director of the
health monitoring unit, the only eight confirmed
cases of zika have been discovered in Sámara and
Nosara in the province of Guanacaste on the far
There, six women and two men got the disease. In
a couple of cases, the individuals appear
to have gotten the disease from Nicaragua.
A pregnant woman who was found to be zika
positive already delivered a healthy child, the
There may be another one that showed up after
Salas gave his statistics.
Doctors have said that pregnant women could be
at risk of delivering children with smaller
heads if infected.
Salas said that the success in killing the
mosquito and its larvae has been due to
alertness from the communities who had been
fighting dengue for years. Dengue is carried by
the same mosquito species, and every year there
are extensive programs to eliminate the mosquito
vectors, particularly in the coastal communities
much prized by expats.
Tourism authorities have remain calm and trust
the Costa Rica health system to deal with the
virus accordingly, so that it does not affect
the flow of tourists.
“This is a high sensitive industry and any
threat may have a negative impact on it.
However, we are the Central American country
that has better dealt with the disease, so we
don´t seen any impact on our business on the
short term.” said Mauricio Ventura, minister of
the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.
Health workers have also heavily fumigated
non-traditional waste, such as old tires,
furniture, TV sets and other home appliances
where zika larvae grow, he said. There are
extensive government fumigation efforts in many
municipalities of the country, and responsible
tourism operators also have private fumigation
schedules at their hospitality sites. Some spray
Private companies have also collaborated by
providing volunteers who perform regular street
The use of two larvicides have proven to be very
effective: Abate and spinosad. The chemicals
destroy zika eggs that have been laid on rugged
surfaces hard to reach with traditional
Zika has raised bigger concerns among population
for it neurological effects and that makes
people more engaged in avoiding the disease.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention says that mosquitoes that spread zika
usually do not live at elevations above 6,500
feet (2,000 meters) because of environmental
conditions. Travelers whose itineraries are
limited to areas above this elevation are at
minimal risk of getting zika from a mosquito.
-- April 24, 2016