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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.

Costa Rica reports first swine flu case

Costa Rican health officials said this morning they had identified the first case of swine flu in the country: a 21-year-old woman who was traveling back from Mexico Saturday with flu-like symptoms. The woman — the authorities would not disclose her name — was said to be recovering from the virus. Test results from a the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute came up positive for swine flu.

No greed, anger or envy. Plenty of sloths.

Costa Rica's efforts to ward off swine flu

With no confirmed cases of swine flu here, Costa Rica and its Central American neighbors have put in place disease prevention barriers — including tighter health checks and on-site clinics at airports and borders — to protect their citizens from a possible outbreak of the virus, according to news reports out of several countries in the region.

The sloths of Costa Rica

ESTRELLA RIVER, Costa Rica — Nimble and quick they are not. But there is something absolutely captivating about those big fur balls that appear too sleepy to budge from their home high up in the tree branches — barring weekly visits to the rest room down below for a No. 2. “People can watch the sloths sleep for hours,” says Judy Avey — and she should know.

Costa Rica's Arias wowed by US president who actually listens

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias sounded content Sunday following the morning meeting between fellow heads of state from Central America and the Dominican Republic and U.S. President Barack Obama. U.S. President Barack Obama and Costa Rican President Osar Arias (R) at the Sunday meeting of leaders from Central America. (photo courtesy of the Costa Rican government press office)

Oscar Arias urges all at Americas summit to cut military spending

President Oscar Arias entered the world stage this morning at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, using the event as a platform to drive home his campaign to urge world leaders to slash military spending and clamp down on the global arms trade.

Poisonous pineapples?

SIQUIRRES, Costa Rica — Every other day, a truck travels down the dusty road flanked by palm trees outside Hilma Duartes' home in the heart of pineapple country here, carrying cisterns of clean drinking water. In the past, Duartes — like 82 percent of all Costa Ricans — drank clean water from the sink. But now, she said that "we only use the tap for cleaning the house and washing clothes.” The change, she said, is the result of water pollution that emerged with the booming pineapple business in her community of Milano more than five years ago.

Another reason to visit Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Sitting in sweatpants and a sweatshirt in a room overlooking the city, 57-year-old Marsha Ervin seems relaxed, refreshed — perhaps even like a new woman. Her trip to Costa Rica has meant a break from work at her Caring Comfort clinic in Washougal, Wash., where she assists elderly people with dementia and other age-related diseases.

Costa Rica re-establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias on Wednesday announced his government will re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba almost 50 years after severing ties. “Ours should be a diplomacy capable of opening pathways and building bridges, capable of seeking rapprochement and practicing what we preach,” Arias said in a statement, announcing his decision to sign an executive decree to reestablish diplomacy with Cuba. “It is a step I take convinced that times change, and Costa Rica has to change with them," he said.
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