Over the past month, 14 people in Costa Rica died of H1N1 virus, said health authorities, but assured that they did not see the illness causing a public emergency.
"There are 14 confirmed cases given by the influenza laboratory at the University of Costa Rica's health research institute," said Health Minister Fernando Llorca.
‘Preventive measures such as washing hands thoroughly and frequently, covering nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing can help prevent swine flu and limit its spread.’
AdvertisementHe said another five deaths due to respiratory complications were being analyzed to see if the virus was also to blame.
The head of the country's social security agency, Rocio Saenz, said the virus -- also known as "swine flu" -- appeared to be normally propagating and there was no cause for alarm.
"It's the same virus as in 2009," when there was a pandemic, he said. "What has changed is the period it is arriving."
Officials urged the public to take preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and to cover up coughing to limit contagion.
Costa Rica has purchased 950,000 vaccine doses against the virus and will start injecting them from April.