Stab Magazine | ISA World Games In Costa Rica’s Zika Capital
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ISA World Games In Costa Rica’s Zika Capital

Long-sleeves, mosquito repellent, latex, and definitely no pregnant women.

news // Aug 1, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

The ISA World Surf Games are about to take place in the Costa Rican Zika virus capital. The Garabito district, home to the suburb Jaco, where the ISA World Games will take place from August 6 to August 14, has had 106 of Costa Rica’s total 238 Zika cases.

The games will feature teams from Australia, the USA, Central and South America, among others. Local authorities are said to be monitoring the situation intently. The Mayor of Garabito, Tobias Murillo has said, “people can come to Jaco without any fear.”

“We have Zika cases, as the whole country does,” he said.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (aka Asian Tiger mosquito), known for its white stripes. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night. The virus can also be spread through sex and survive in sperm for 93 days, meaning returning travellers from Zika prone areas can spread the disease.

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, that is a sign of incomplete brain development. Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among foetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth.There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

The virus has spread throughout much of central America and the Caribbean, while an outbreak in Brazil has left 1600 babies with the virus.

The ISA World Surf Games are expected to attracts thousands of spectators to the region as Costa Rica attempts to defend its Gold Medal, having won it in Nicaragua last year.

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