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Swine flu in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has identified a second case of a virus believed to be linked to the global swine flu outbreak, which has prompted officials to declare a national health emergency.

Other countries in the region were expected to follow suit — both in terms of possible outbreaks and national emergency decrees.

Like this morning’s announced case in Costa Rica, which was the first incidence in Central America, the new case announced early this evening was also reportedly a mild case contracted while traveling through Mexico. Both Ticos are in stable condition, The Tico Times reports.

Following a preliminary confirmation by Tico doctors, both patients’ test results have been sent to Atlanta to be studied for further confirmation from the CDC.

The news followed a meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, between health officials from members of the Central American Integration System to draw up a plan to improve the region’s cooperative efforts toward warding off swine flu, including medical checks at airports and borders, and the sharing of information regarding suspected cases.

Costa Rica — whose officials were absent from the Managua meeting — remains the only Central American nation with patients who seem to have tested positive for the flu. Butdespite the region's attempts to stave off a pandemic, it seems only a matter of time before new cases will pop up in neighboring countries as well.