The director of the Hospital Nacional de Niños (HNN) – Children’s Hospital –  in San Jose, Olga Arguedas, made a series of recommendations for parents after a significant increase in respiratory viruses such as influenza at the medical center.

The first and most fundamental rule in the director’s words is: “if you have a cold do not greet (people). This is to avoid that people through physical contact, poorly washed hands or secretions are transmitted this type of disease.”

In addition, she recommends avoiding as much as possible not to expose crowds children under 2 years of age since that is where there is the greatest risk that children get sick, as well as avoid having contact with cigarette smoke because it increases the risk and severity of this type of infections.

“We are at the peak of respiratory infections and in HNN…we are at a very high percentage of occupation in hospital beds…I speak of very high is close to 100%”,  said Arguedas.

The two viruses that are circulating simultaneously are the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the virus infecting the lungs and breathing passages that can lead to other, more serious illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis, and also the influenza virus.

So far Health authorities have confirmed the death of two minors by the influenza virus and a newborn infant is currenlty in isolation in the San Juan de Dios Hospital for the same reason.