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Costa Rica Confirms 11 More Cases of Swine Flu: Total Now 20

Costa Rica's ministra de Salud, María Luisa Ávila, yesterday said that 11 new cases of AH1N1 have been confirmed after performing test on 13 suspected cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20 and one death.

Ávila said that two of the thirteen suspected cases were ruled out after sample test results were obtained by the Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud (Inciensa).

The ministra added that they have also sent samples to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.

Ministra Ávila said the health alert continues, confirming that since April 24, they have investigated 1.042 suspected cases, of which 893 have been discarded, 128 are still pending results and 20 confirmed.

Among the confirmed cases there was a peasant from the Cartago province, who infected four members of his family, Avila said. A girl from Heredia, some 15 km northeast of San Jose, also passed the virus to her brother, the ministra added.

"We are investigating the transmission chain in these cases, because it seems they have not had contact with people from outside. But still we cannot talk about an autochthonous transmission," Avila said.

The ministra said that contact must be close and tight, this means that there is no mass movement risk.

In addition, the ministra said that the probable cases are still treated as confirmed cases, and they are receiving the respective treatment and are being are following up on all contacts they may have had.

Health officials are also continuing their efforts in all the provinces, though the majority of the cases have been in San Jose.

At the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) airport, health officials are greeting all arrivals, as visitors are asked to fill out a health form, which is reviewed by the health official and then handed over to immigration officials.




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