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- Photo via Social Security -

New covid-19 mutation detected in Costa Rica

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Published on Wednesday, August 16, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The most recent variant or mutation of the covid-19 virus that caused the pandemic between 2020 and 2021, was detected in patients in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican Institute for Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA) reported that the variant named EG.5 was detected in at least 19 cases. Of these, 18 were found in Puntarenas Province in the cantons of Palmar, Puerto Cortés, Guaycará, Corredores, Piedras Blancas, Bahía Ballena, Paso Canoas and Barranca. One more case was detected in San Isidro del General in San José Province.

According to experts, the symptoms of the virus are similar to those of covid-19. Patients have experienced fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of smell and taste, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

In February, the Social Security launched the vaccination campaign against covid-19 begins with the application of the bivalent vaccine. 

The bivalent vaccine includes a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against covid-19 and a component of the omicron variant to provide better protection against the covid-omicron variant. This is called the bivalent-covid vaccine because it contains these two components.

In July, over 13.5 million doses of the vaccine against covid-19 have been applied in the country since the beginning of the inoculation campaign in December 2020.

Of these, more than 4.6 million people received their first dose, including more than 546,000 children from six months old to 11 years old.

Also, more than 4.3 million people completed their two-dose treatment, including more than 452,000 children under 11 years old.

Statistics show about 3 million people have already received their third dose, including more than 180,000 children under 11 years old.

More than 1.2 million people have already received their fourth dose. As well as over 300,000 people have already received the bivalent vaccine These extra are available for people over 18 years old.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO), classifies EG.5 as covid-19 'variant of interest' but "it did not seem to pose more of a threat to public health than other variants."

They added: "Collectively, available evidence does not suggest that EG.5 has additional public health risks relative to the other currently circulating Omicron descendent lineages."

The fast-spreading variant is the most prevalent in the United States with an estimated 17% of cases. It also has been detected in China, South Korea, Japan and Canada, among other countries.

As of Aug. 10, Costa Rica health authorities reported 9,245 deaths listed as covid-19 related, approximately a 1% death rate of the total infected patients.

The virus has killed more than 6.8 million people globally, with more than 768 million confirmed cases since the it emerged.

WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic in March 2020 and ended the global emergency status for Covid-19 in May 2023.

What have you heard about people infected with the EG.5 variant? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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