Infectious diseases in a Nicaraguan refugee camp in Costa Rica
Achí Araya, María Rosario
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Some Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica are in refugee camps. The types and rates of infectious diseases in the Pueblo Nuevo refugee camp were measured by examining medical records for 1985 and performing stool and blood testing. The incidence of infections was 320 episodes per 1000 persons per year. Respiratory infections represented 63% of all illnesses and pulmonary tuberculosis was high. Malaria was not found in blood samples and no childhood illnesses preventable by immunizations were recorded in the records. intestinal parasites were found in 565 of the persons examined, considerably higher than the 153/4 prevalence noted in surveys of Costa Rica as a whole. Trichuris trichlura was found in 40 To of the positive stool samples. The deficient hygienic conditions and overcrowding in the camp are responsible for the high rates of infections and the continued presence of infections many of which probably were acquired in Nicaragua. Improvement of hygienic conditions can be accomplished by involving the refugees in education, cleaning and identifying problem areas. Adequate sanitation and improved water supply, and reducing overcrowding are also recommended.
Artículo científico -- Universidad de Costa Rica. Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud, 1989