Q COSTA RICA – The Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud (Inciensa) – Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health – reported three fatalities from rickettsiosis, a disease that can be transmitted by fleas or ticks, and is commonly found in poor hygienic conditions.
The victims were three males, aged 43, 53, and 70, who were residents of Aserrí. Of the three, two were admitted to San Juan de Dios Hospital and the third was referred to Calderón Guardia Hospital.
Rickettsiosis is connected to unclean conditions and can be passed through animals like rats and cats, according to the Ministry of Health.
The most common symptoms include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, and a skin rash that appears days after the onset of the disease, as well as inflammation of the lungs or liver, meningoencephalitis, acute kidney failure, and multiorgan failure in later stages.
In order to avoid an outbreak of this disease, the population is recommended to try to reduce the population of rodents in homes, wash clothes, deworming of domestic animals, avoid overcrowding, among other measures, as well as go to the nearest health center in case of having any of the aforementioned symptoms.
Rickettsiosis/rickettsioses are a group of diseases generally caused by species of Rickettsia, a genus of obligate intracellular bacteria. Most of the Rickettsioses are transmitted by ticks, but they can also be transmitted by fleas, lice and mites.
Although they are widely distributed throughout the world, the species and associated human clinical diseases vary depending on the geographical locations.