By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
For the second time this year, the Costa Rica Health Ministry has reported (computer translated) a Naegleria fowleri infection linked to hot springs.
Officials say a four-year-old girl who has been hospitalized since last Tuesday at the Max Peralta Hospital in Carthage and today was confirmed by laboratory with amoebic meningitis by Naegleria fowleri. The minor visited hot springs in the province of Alajuela last Saturday and started from Monday with headaches, vomiting and fever. The girl is reacting positively to the treatment given.
Under the precautionary principle, the Ministry of Health will issue a modification to the regulation of swimming pool management in order to include a specific section of regulations for natural hot springs.
The new measures for such establishments include: warning labeling on the risk of amebic meningitis as a prohibition of slides or trampolines that discharge into natural hot springs.
The rector of health considers urgent the application of these measures in order to prevent the risk of public health before the possible presence of thermophilic amoebas in natural hot springs, measures that are pressing before the appearance of a new case of involvement by Naegleria fowleri.
The regulations promoted through the issuance of sanitary orders and modification of the regulations on swimming pool management seek to protect the health of those who enjoy the hot springs and especially minors, which has been the age group affected in the three cases recorded by our country in the last ten years.
To the prohibition of slides and trampolines that unload in swimming pools of natural thermal origin, the requirement of surfaces that favor the cleaning and the intubation of the extraction of the thermal water is added.
In addition to the new regulation of natural hot springs it will be necessary for administrations of swimming pool installations with natural hot springs, to place visible signs at the main entrance, parking lots, locker rooms and each pool with the following warning: “Keep your head out of the water. Prevent amoebic meningitis. Do not immerse yourself or throw water at other people. ” At the same time they are required to give verbal warning to people with visual disabilities.
The Ministry of Health reiterates to the population not to immerse themselves when visiting hot springs and to watch the minors to fulfill said instruction.
The teen that contracted the amoeba in January died from the infection.
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