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A Nasty Little Parasite – Parents Take Care!

February 1st, 2009

slugI did a fair amount of work a couple of years ago when researching the various illnesses and  health issues common to Costa Rica.  I thought I had a pretty good handle on it… then some nice lady sent me an email about Chagas Disease… so I checked that out and added it.  Well I guess Chagas was not the end because today, I will introduce you to Angiostrongylus costaricensis, a nasty little parasite that has made sick and sadly killed some very young children. Of the 42 cases treated since 2003, 16 were girls and 26 were boys under the age of 14 years. At serious risk are the youngest… under nine years old.

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Dengue Fever a Real Problem in Costa Rica

July 25th, 2007

For many years now, Dengue Fever has been a fact of life in Costa Rica, however this year, it has reached the point where it is causing serious issues not only within the country but to tourism as well. Areas such as Playas del Coco have been especially hard hit as has Limón on the Caribbean coast (see below). The bulk of the cases, some 66 percent, are in what is known as the Chorotega in northwest Costa Rica (34 percent) and along the Caribbean (some 32 percent). Only about 12 percent of the cases are on the Pacific side, the side most popular with tourists.

The incidence of dengue this year has more than doubled from 2006, according to the latest statistics from the Ministerio de Salud. So far this year the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and the ministry of Health have spent ¢1.5 billion colones (us$2.9 million dollars) attending patients and fumigating. Throughout the country more than 8,000 persons are ill. During the first 25 weeks of 2007, health officials said Friday that they logged 6,882 cases and two dengue-attributed deaths. During the same period in 2006, there were only 3,435 cases.

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You Want to Put a Chair on My Back?

February 13th, 2007

As I lay on the bed, careful not to move so I wouldn’t disrupt the eight needles sticking in my chest and legs, my acupuncturist played his flute for the crowd in the waiting room. It had been awhile since I’d been pinned, but with my immune system a wreck and cysts growing on the back of my neck, I decided I better get re-adjusted.

The doctor’s flute playing has improved. The first time he played for me, I was visiting him Continue reading »

It Helps to Recover From All We’ve Learned

December 8th, 2006

Three months ago, my son’s blood test came back as anemic, but the doctor or the lab never called me with the results. I thought we were just testing for thyroid problems. I figured no news was good news.

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Prostitution Growing

November 21st, 2006

The daily Spanish newspaper Al Día reported that there are now about 9.000 prostitutes plying their trade in Costa Rica. The number of prostitutes has increased mainly to the increasing numbers of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Colombian women.Medical authorites are concerned because they have under their medical control only one third of the prostitutes, meaning there are about 6.000 prostitutes out there who are “outside the system”

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Funny thing, I’ve Become Accustomed to This Place

November 18th, 2006

Hello, I’m Susan Carmichael, and this is a little bit of my story.

My contact with Costa Rica began as a tourist. Helen Keller said that life is a daring adventure or nothing at all. So in 1998, I took the leap and moved here in search of a less hectic life. A few other reasons may have swayed my decision. Perhaps living in the United States left me a little sour, prickly around the edges. My physical health a wreck, I hoped paradise would deliver me a little closer to fine.

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Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part One

September 1st, 2006

Actually, this is probably better titled: “Considerations on the Expatriate Life”. Certainly the things I am going to discuss apply no matter where you plan to go.

As you might expect, I get a lot of email from people who are either making the move to Costa Rica or are considering such a move. Some are baby boomers realizing that they may not be able to afford to retire in their home country… others are younger, asking about employment opportunities and lifestyle. They ask my advice on a variety of things,and I give the best answers I can. But over time, I have come to realize that there are a some questions that are never asked, but certainly should be asked, before making a move of this magnitude.

So here are my thoughts on this.

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Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part Two

September 1st, 2006

Here is Part Two written especially for the under 50 crowd.

Under 50

Everything I wrote in Part One (for the over 50’s) is certainly applicable to the under-50 crowd of course. The biggest difference as I see it is that this younger group may not have financial independence, and thus they have to work in order to live here. With that in mind, their needs are clearly different.
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Mother’s Day – for babies

August 14th, 2006

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Costa Ricans take this holiday seriously! And somewhere, tomorrow, 12 year old Carolina will be celebrating her third Mother’s Day having given birth at age 9.

A couple of months ago, I was chatting with one of my employees, a 20 something young lady who was working for me as an intern. The subject got around to young girls getting pregnant in high school (colegio). She told me that before she graduated eight girls had become pregnant. Her class size was twenty-nine.

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SALA IV Rules for accessible buses

August 7th, 2006

handicapsign.jpegLey (law) 7600 ((Igualdad de Oportunidades a las Personas con Discapacidad)) was approved ten years ago and required that all buses be equipped to transport handicapped individuals.

Not too surprisingly, the bus operators decided to wait ten years to see what was going to happen. What happened, of course, was that the law is now being (sort of) enforced and bus drivers are being ticketed whose vehicles are not to the new level. To date, only 12% of all buses have handicap ramps installed.
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