The Festival de la Luz this Sunday (Dec. 14) in San José is one of 25 massive events that could be cancelled to prevent the spread of infection of the Chikungunya virus in the country.
The Festival de la Luz this Sunday (Dec. 14) in San José is one of 25 massive events that could be cancelled to prevent the spread of infection of the Chikungunya virus in the country.

COSTA RICA NEWS – The Ministrio de Salud (Ministry of Health) is assessing whether it should permit year-end and new year mass events in the face of the threat of the Chikungunya virus.

On Monday, the Director of Health, Priscilla Herrera, explained that Chikungunya infections continue to rise, and the reason for evaluating each of the events.

Health officials say it has received permit requests for 25 massive events that include: Festival de la Luz (December 14), the Zapote Festival (starting December 25) and the Tope Nacional (horse parade on December 26), all three in San José; the Palmares Festival in January; and the Santa Cruz, Guanacaste celebrations, also in January.

“We want to avoid a risk of contagion to the rest of the population, the reason that we could suspend some events,” said Herrera.

The Director added that there are two main factors that could increase the number of infections at this time of the year: the vacation period as people head to the beaches and resorts, and Nicaraguans coming back from holidays in their country.

The Ministry of Health confirmed Friday the second homegrown case of Chikungunya; a 25-year-old woman from Costa de Pájaros, in Puntarenas.

In addition, Health officials are suspecting a mixed outbreak of Dengue and Ckinjungunay in Santa Cruz de Guanacaste.

In the Guanacaste province there has been an increase in Dengue since late September, with an average of 77 new cases recorded weekly.