By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Costa Rica health officials reported Thursday on the first suspected case of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19 in the country.

Costa Rica /CIA

The patient is a 52-year-old Costa Rican woman, a neighbor of the Canton of Pococí, who was in Italy and Tunisia and who arrived in the country on February 29 with no symptoms that match the case definition, starting later with the symptoms.

Later that day, officials reported that the 47-year-old niece of the patient who made the trip with her aunt to Italy and Tunisia, is also a suspect case.

Health Minister Daniel Salas said they are waiting on confirmation testing. The national reference lab, which is conducting the test, is expected to produce results within 24 hours.

“We call on the population to remain calm”, Salas said.

Salas also issued a reminder that the public should prioritize washing their hands frequently, avoiding handshakes or kisses as part of greetings, and following protocols for coughing and sneezing.

Stay at home if you feel ill, and contact health authorities if you present respiratory symptoms after visiting a country with active COVID-19 transmission, Salas said.

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