QCOSTARICA – 40% of the population in Costa Rica that was infected by Covid-19 say they still have symptoms associated with the virus, such as tiredness, fatigue, cough, rash, and chest pain, among others.
This is revealed by the most recent survey published by the Development Observatory Research Center of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).
This is the Second National Survey of Covid-19, taking in the response by telephone of 664 people over 18 years of age —randomly— between October 25 and 29. The margin of error corresponds to ± 3.8 percentage points.
According to the results, the most persistent symptoms in the surveyed population are tiredness or fatigue (18.1%), cough (12.1%), muscle pain (12.0%), and shortness of breath (10.3 %).
These symptoms are followed by headaches (7.0%), depression or anxiety (6%), symptoms that are aggravated by physical or mental effort (5%), alterations in smell or taste (4.9%), sleeping problems (4.7%), dizziness (4.6%) and difficulty thinking or concentrating (3.9%).
The list is completed by chest pain (3.8%), rapid and strong heart palpitations (2.9%), rash (1.8%), fever (1.4%) and changes in menstrual cycles (1.4%).
Long-term Covid collectively refers to a set of symptoms that remain in some people after they have overcome Covid-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) approximately 10% and 20% of the population experiences various effects in the medium and long term after having suffered from this disease.
In addition to prolonged Covid-19, the survey also addressed issues such as the use of the mask, vaccination, reinfections, and an estimate of out-of-pocket health spending by Costa Ricans.
81.7% make selective use of the mask
The survey carried out by the UCR also revealed that 81.7% of the population makes selective use of the mask, which means that they do not use it all the time, but they do in certain places.
For example, 37.3% of those surveyed indicated that they use it on public transport, while 30% in public spaces such as shops or restaurants. 12% said they used it in their workplace, 9% in their study centers, 8% in churches and 4% in places of recreation.
Among the main reasons why the people surveyed do not wear the mask, the results show that 51.6% say that it gets in the way, while 30.6% indicate that it does not work.
In addition, 81% indicated that they were in favor of the return of the mandatory use of the mask, both in educational centers and on public transport.
The mandatory use of the mask was eliminated in Costa Rica in May; However, in October, after the increase in cases of respiratory viruses (not covid related) in children, authorities decided to apply the measure in educational centers and public transport for two weeks.
33.2% say they have been infected by COVID-19
Regarding the cases of Covid-19, 33.2% of the population surveyed by the UCR researchers said they had been infected with the virus.
At the national level, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health, until last week, a total of 1,134,961 people had been infected with Covid-19 since the first case in the country, in March 2020.
Of the total number of people who said they had had Covid-19, 76.2% indicated that they had been infected at least twice.
The months in which the most reinfections occurred were January and February 2022, the survey indicates. This reflects the impact of the Ómicron variant in the country, a more contagious variant.
The results of the survey coincide precisely with the information from the Ministry of Health published by SEMANARIA UNIVERSIDAD months ago. According to authorities, reinfections have skyrocketed in the country since January of this year.
93% have at least one dose of the vaccine
Regarding vaccination, 93% of the surveyed population (over 18 years of age) indicated that they were immunized against Covid-19, and most of them (77%) said they had between three and four doses.
The survey also revealed that 7% of those surveyed do not have any vaccine against Covid-19. Among the reasons for not doing so, 36.9% highlighted that they do not believe in this vaccine, 26.3% consider that it is useless, 26.2% indicated that they have not received it for fear of secondary effects, and 2 .6% mentioned religion as a justification.
Those who had two or three doses were asked if they would take the respective missing doses, of which 54.1% said that they would, while 36.7% indicated that they would not.
In addition, 32.9% of the people mentioned that in their immediate nucleus there are minors between the ages of 5 and 12 and that 51.1% of them stated that these minors already had two doses of the vaccine
Another 20.4%, for their part, indicated that in their nearby nucleus there are children under five years of age and within this percentage, 67% stated that they would take them to be vaccinated. This reflects a very high acceptance of vaccination by the population.
55.7% have received attention from the CCSS in the last year
Finally, in reference to health spending, the population was asked if in the last 12 months they had received medical care from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund. Of the total number of respondents, 55.7% indicated that they had received medical attention.
74% of these people said they had received care at an Ebais, 45% at clinics, and 42% at hospitals. Regarding the frequency of consultations, 86.9% have gone between one and four times to the Ebais, 94.1% to clinics, and 83% to hospitals.
In a complementary way, people were asked if they had received care in private medical services. 27.3% of them stated that they had gone to private medicine: 20.8% for general medicine, 19.6% for specialized consultation, while 17% paid for medicines, as well as for tests.
For their part, 36% of the population said they spend between ¢25,000 and ¢100,000 per year on private services, 48% between ¢100,000 and ¢500,000, and 16% more than half a million colones per year. year. This response is based on the 9.9% of valid responses that indicated having a private care service.
The First National Survey of COVID-19 was published by the Observatory of Development Research Center in July and among the axes addressed were the perception of people residing in the national territory about the use of the mask, the contagion by Ccovid- 19, the vaccination process, as well as the perception of the Government.