Three people died and several others in Argentina fell ill after developing pneumonia without a clear cause, the World Health Organization announced on Friday, CNN reports.
The cases, which occurred in eight health workers and one patient, are linked to a private clinic in San Miguel de Tucumán, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told CNN.
A tenth case, which is linked to this group, involves an 81-year-old man with underlying health problems who is hospitalized in serious condition and connected to a ventilator, the Tucumán Health Ministry reported on Friday.
“Three of these cases died, three are currently hospitalized, and one is in isolation at home in a stable condition,” Jasarevic said, adding that case samples were analyzed for Covid-19, flu and hantavirus, but all were negative.
The samples are undergoing additional analysis, writes News.ro.
San Miguel de Tucumán is the capital of the agricultural province of Tucumán in northwestern Argentina.
Some of the health workers and the ninth patient began to have symptoms between August 18 and 22, Argentina’s National Health Ministry said in a press release.
WHO and the Pan American Health Organization have followed these reports and are providing support to Argentine health authorities working to investigate the outbreak, Jasarevic said.
“The case is currently being investigated by public health authorities and all [ipotezele] are explored, including viral and other agents,” wrote Jasarevic.
“The Ministry of Health of Argentina, as well as the provincial health authorities, are working together to investigate the outbreak. They are also conducting contact tracing and control actions in the medical clinic linked to the outbreak,” the official added.
The Pan American Health Organization said in a statement that the people who died had previous health problems and that none of their close contacts had developed symptoms.
“It is important to await the results of public health investigations before drawing conclusions about the nature of the diseases,” said Dr Jake Dunning, senior researcher in emerging and high-consequence infections at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Pandemic Sciences. in a statement distributed by Science Media Center in Great Britain.
“The cluster of reported, so far small, cases of unexplained severe acute respiratory illness in Tucuman, Argentina, is a live event and investigations are ongoing. It is understandable that there will be interest and speculation about the cause, especially after everyone is on edge after the pandemic events of the last two years, but we really have to wait for the outcome of the ongoing clinical and public health investigations. It is possible that more cases will be identified and reported further, as often happens with these types of events, but that doesn’t mean this event is the start of a new pandemic,” he said.
Dunning said the connection to a particular health center could suggest exposure to a patient with an infection, but it could also mean exposure to an environmental agent or toxin.
“Argentina has a lot of experience in investigating and managing outbreaks of severe acute respiratory disease, especially those caused by infections (eg, pandemic H1N1 influenza, COVID-19, Andean hantavirus infection), so we hope that this group will remain relatively small, and the root cause will be identified quickly,” he added.
Tags: argentina, pneumonia,
Publication date: 03-09-2022 07:37