HomeHealthMysterious respiratory illness kills two health workers and patient in clinic, six...

Mysterious respiratory illness kills two health workers and patient in clinic, six others sick in Argentina

A third person has died in Argentina this week from a type of pneumonia of unknown origin, with the fatalities so far confined to a single clinic, health authorities said Thursday.

Nine people in northwestern Tucuman province have contracted a mysterious respiratory illness, including eight medical personnel at the private clinic, Tucuman’s health minister Luis Medina Ruiz told reporters.

Three people – two health workers and now a patient in the clinic – have died since Monday.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional office of the World Health Organization, is in contact with Argentina’s health ministry as they investigate the cluster of cases, PAHO said in a statement.

Authorities are conducting tests, but Medina said they have already ruled out COVID-19, the flu, flu types A and B, the Legionella bacterial disease and the hantavirus spread by rodents.

Samples have been sent to the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires.

The latest victim was a 70-year-old woman admitted to the clinic for surgery.

Medina said the woman could have been “patient zero,” but that is under evaluation.

The mysterious illness claimed its first victim among health personnel at the clinic on Monday and a second two days later.

The first six patients started showing symptoms between August 18 and 23.

Medina said on Wednesday the patients were afflicted with “severe respiratory disease with bilateral pneumonia … very similar to Covid.”

Symptoms included vomiting, high fever, diarrhea and body aches.

Of the six people undergoing treatment, four were in hospital in serious condition and two in isolation at home.

All other clinic staff were checked.

Experts analyzed the water and air conditioners for possible contamination or poisoning.

The provincial health ministry said on Wednesday the outbreak could be from an infectious agent, but researchers are not ruling out “toxic or environmental causes.”

Infectious disease specialist Mario Raya said on Thursday that “no cases outside” the affected clinic for the time being.

Hector Sale, president of Tucuman Provincial Medical University, added: “We are not dealing with a disease that causes person-to-person transmission,” as no cases have been identified in close contacts of any of the patients.

dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told Reuters that since the lungs are heavily involved, the cause is likely something the patients inhaled.

Osterholm said “mysterious diseases” sometimes occur, and most of the time they can be explained by a local outbreak that has no pandemic consequences.

#Mysterious #respiratory #illness #kills #health #workers #patient #clinic #sick #Argentina



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular