The pregnant women of the Garabito canton understand the severity of the Zika virus, as 119 of the 351 confirmed cases have been from this region. They also understand that they must protect themselves from mosquitoes in the area, or their newborns could have serious birth defects.
There is one month remaining before Matthew, son of Karen Navarro, is born. Navarro is 27-years-old and she lives in Garabito. The future mother said that worry has accompanied the entire pregnancy, especially the latent threat of microcephaly that the disease brings.
Just like Navarro, dozens of pregnant women in Jaco have made mosquito repellent a standing guest in their home.
Kenya Lopez, from a neighboring community, said that even before she got pregnant, applying repellent shaped part of her morning ritual. Now, 16 weeks into her gestation period, repellent use is amplified.
Mosquito nets in doors and windows is part of the facade of houses inhabited by pregnant women in the Pacific Central canton.
Although it is already very hot in this region, Monica Serrano, who has 18 weeks left of her pregnancy, uses a blanket during the night to protect herself from any mosquito who dares invade the strength of the mosquito repellent.
The pregnant women commented that fear moved them to protect themselves against the Zika virus.
In no way does their condition prevent them from using the tools necessary to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, as did Diana Moro, who is 23-years-old and is 11 weeks pregnant.
A woman in Jaco noted that wherever you live, there are children, and we must protect them. We must pay particular attention to the presence of any area that retains water and is an ideal resting place of Aedes aegypti.
This Friday, the Ministry of Health took Jaco as a starting point for the prevention of Zika: the organization will distribute a protection kit to 5,000 pregnant women in 23 vulnerable cantons in the country.
This kit contains five repellents and a mosquito net to protect women until the third trimester of their pregnancy.
Since the emergence of the first indigenous case of Zika in Costa Rica – in February – until this week, 351 people have reported being sick with the virus.
Moreover, a case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome associated with the Zika virus has been confirmed. The victim is a young 14-year-old boy of Copey of Jaco, who is stable in the Hospital Monsenor Sanabria.