The arrival of the rainy season has seen a dramatic jump in the number of children with respiratory symptoms being treated in the emergency room of the Hospital del Ninos (Children's Hospital) since mid May.
The head of the emergency department, Mario Rodriguez, reported that in early 2012 some 350 cases were recorded daily, but since the second half of May the number has jumped to 450 a day and he estimates that the figure will continue to climb during the month of June
Figures show that of every 100 children who arrive in search of medical care, 14 are hospitalized, a situation that results in saturation of the rooms.
Rodruguez said simple respiratory symptoms should be addressed in health centers, but parents choose to go to the hospital, a situation that allows the spread of the virus.
"These people on arrival at the hospital claim that health centers do not have enough staff to care for them, but here we do not reject any patients," said Rodriguez.
The figures for the children's medical center reported that each “normal” month between 8,000 and 10 000 patients are treated
The most frequent cases seen in emergency are nasopharyngitis, infectious diarrhea and fractures.