DIEGO ARAOZ / AFP
The entrance to Luz Medica Hospital, where 11 people have been infected with a mysterious virus that has already claimed four lives.
INTERNATIONAL – The mystery finally rises. According to the first findings, a Legionella bacterium is the cause of mysterious pneumonia which has caused several deaths since the beginning of the week in Tucuman, in the north-west of Argentina, announced this Saturday, September 3 the Minister of Health Carla Vizzotti.
The agent that caused the outbreak of bilateral pneumonia “is legionella”, said the minister at a press conference in Tucuman, adding that the precise type of legionella is being qualified. Four people have died since Monday, and a total of eleven cases have been identified, centered around a private clinic in Tucuman.
Samples sent for analysis revealed cases of “Legionellosis”a serious lung infection caused by a bacterium called Legionella, the local daily reported on Saturday The Gaceta citing sources from the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires where extensive examinations are underway. The Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires, a reference in the country for infectious diseases, has not yet announced the results of these examinations.
“It would not be a disease that results in person-to-person transmission, since close contacts of these patients do not show any symptoms”, explained on Wednesday the president of the Medical College of the province of Tucuman, Hector Sale. While expressing his ” worry “ for an obvious pathology ” agressive “.
A fourth death announced
That same day, a fourth victim was registered in Tucuman, the province’s health ministry announced. “The case is a 48-year-old male patient with comorbidities who was in serious condition in a public hospital”specifies the Ministry of Health of Tucuman on its website.
This is the fourth death in less than a week: two members of the nursing staff at the private clinic in San Miguel de Tucuman died on Monday and then Wednesday. On Thursday, a 70-year-old woman, a patient in the same clinic where she had undergone surgery, died.
A total of 11 people showed similar symptoms, and seven are still undergoing treatment, according to the ministry. Of the ten cases originally recorded, eight were health care workers at the same private clinic.
Covid, flu, type A and B influenza, and hantavirus (transmitted by rodents) in particular have already all been ruled out, provincial health minister Luis Medina Ruiz said on Wednesday.
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