Costa Rica requested to be pulled out of the list of countries with Zika virus

La Nación, Costa Rica The Ministry of Health formally requested Tuesday to the World Health Organization (WHO) to pull the country out from the list of nations with Zika virus as no evidence of active virus circulation has been found in the country. 

Fernando Llorca Castro

Fernando Llorca Castro, Health Minister of Costa Rica (Photo from La Nación)

The information was confirmed this morning as the Health Minister Fernando Llorca Castro, explained that the written request was submitted to Lilian Reneau-Vernon, the representative of PHO (Panamerican Health Organization) the regional branch of WHO (World Health Organization).
“From our point of view, there are no evidences that the virus is circulating in the vector (The Aedes aegypti mosquito is also the transmitter of dengue and chikungunya). We asked respectfully to be pulled out of that list. We got into a register with other countries where there are dozens and even hundreds of confirmed cases, such as Nicaragua, Mexico or South American nations, “Llorca said.

On February 2nd, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English) of the United States, included Costa Rica in the list of countries to which is recommended not to travel  because of the active presence of Zika virus. Three days later, WHO did the same.
Both organizations took as a basis a case still classified as ‘highly suspicious’ of an American tourist who visited Nosara in Guanacaste and came back to the United States, with symptoms of the disease.

The Ministry of Health has not yet confirmed that case as indigenous transmission since no other infected people were found in the area where he allegedly transmission; either infected mosquitoes.

In addition, the Health Ministry required additional information from the CDC to tie the case from the point of view of the epidemiological link, and this has not yet been sent.

According to the Minister, the country has strengthened the surveillance of cases. Around thirty Zika suspect cases have been discarded by laboratory tests in the last two weeks. This, in the opinion of Llorca, confirms that the virus is NOT actively circulating in the territory. 
In Costa Rica only they have confirmed two imported cases: a Costa Rican who traveled to Colombia and became ill, and a Honduran who was in the country for business.

Zika World Map WHO Feb 2nd,16

Zika World Map WHO Feb 2nd,16


Source: La Nación, Costa Rica

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