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According to Fauci the relationship between NIH and Costa Rica have been close since a phase II clinical trial was implemented
from a Zika vaccination research that was developed by the vaccine research center he directs.
  - NIAID photo -


Published Monday, October 19, 2020

Fauci shares the U.S. experience on
managing covid-19 with Costa Rican
health authorities

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIAID, along with Hilary Marston, Medical Officer and Policy Advisor for Pandemic Preparedness, and Rebecca Prevots, Chief of Epidemiology Unit, both from NIAID and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, NIH, shared their experiences in managing the covid-19 pandemic with representatives of health institutions of Costa Rica.

The virtual meeting was attended by Román Macaya, president of Social Security, Fernando Llorca, Costa Rican ambassador in the U.S. and 250 representatives from other institutions such as the Ministry of Health, and the National Emergency Commission.

Fauci said that he is proud of the relationship between NIH and Costa Rica. Both have been close since a phase II clinical trial was implemented from a Zika vaccination research that was developed by the vaccine research center he directs, Social Security said.

Researchers from the U.S. and Costa Rica are investigating covid-19 to better understand the many aspects of the virus.

"I hope that succeeding other studies can get involved with Costa Rican scientists and institutions," Fauci said. "I appreciate the support and leadership they are giving to the U.S. I hope to continue with the scientific alliance to address this global challenge."

According to Marston, measures were taken in the U.S. since China registered the first case. They recognized, as the disease progressed and cases increased, the need to create public-private alliances to face the emergency.

Various investigations have been carried out to respond to the pandemic, such as looking into diagnosis, treatment, community resources and vaccines, Marston said.

The U.S. responded to the pandemic by establishing a panel of experts to create guidelines for helping health workers make the best decisions regarding the care of sick people, as well as creating prevention networks, she added.

The U.S. government is currently supporting vaccine research being developed by biotech companies Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sanofi and Novavaz.

As part of the joint research between Costa Rica and the U.S., Prevots reported the biomedical research project called "Evaluation of the immune response to sars-cov-2 in Costa Rica", which will be developed from 2020 to 2022.

In addition to the health institutions of Costa Rica, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, NCI, and the German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ, are participating in the two-year research.

The study aims to characterize the immune response, estimate the prevalence of exposure to covid-19 in the specific areas, and domestic transmission. A prospective serology study and a domestic transmission study will be used as methods.

Serology is the scientific study of serum and other body fluids. In practice, the term usually refers to the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum.

This study will be carried out in six of the seven provinces of the country, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Alajuela, Heredia, San José and Cartago.

By having a serological test there is a possibility to identify if a person who survives the virus has developed an immunity. This would contribute to the progress of the creation of treatment against the virus that continues to cause an increase in deaths in the country.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health reported the following updated statistics of the virus contagion in the country:

1,166 new covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 35,515 active cases.

15,794 foreign-born people have been infected with a total of 95,514 cases since March, approximately 16.5% of the total cases. Of these, authorities confirmed the death of 32 foreign-born patients.

• 520 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 217 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from a 1-year-old to a 91-year-old). And 313 patients are in recovery rooms. The majority of the rest of the infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 58,816 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 61.6% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

1,183 deaths of people infected with covid-19, approximately 1.2% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these 447 women and 736 men. The ages range from a 9-year-old to a 100-year-old person.

Authorities stopped providing the updated statistics on people who have been ruled out and the number of medical covid-19 tests that have been made.

Readers can see the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its
Covid-19 Map.

As of Sunday night, the pandemic has killed 1,112,558 patients worldwide, according to recent statistics reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, CSSE, at Johns Hopkins University.

Should health authorities speed up the study on the treatment against covid-19 made in Costa Rica?  
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