San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Note to pregnant women: Don't shop

Costa Rican health officials are recommending that pregnant women take no risks in the case they develop symptoms of the A(H1N1) flu virus.

“Due to the physical changes that pregnant women undergo in their condition, they have an elevated risk of complications resulting from the flu virus,” read a statement issued by the Health Ministry on Tuesday.

The ministry recommends that pregnant women “in the presence of any discomfort or symptoms, even those not directly attributable to the A(H1N1) flu” consult the nearest health facility and to avoid crowded places such as shopping malls, entertainment venues, restaurants and cinemas.

The health ministry also recommends that nursing mothers showing symptoms continue breastfeeding and seek antiviral treatment.

Since the virus first entered Costa Rica in late April, at least 25 people have died of complications resulting from the flu. An additional 755 were confirmed to be carrying the virus.

Of those who died, roughly 36 percent suffered from a lung condition, 40 percent were obese and 20 percent had high cholesterol.

The virus continues to affect predominantly young people, with 60 percent of the confirmed cases in the Central American region existing in children under 20.

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