Cases of suspicious pneumonia in Argentina: 8 new cases, still confined to a clinic

Last week, six people died of aggressive bilateral pneumonia, which puzzled the medical profession, especially since initial examinations had ruled out Covid-19, influenza, influenza type A and B, and hantavirus (transmitted by rodents).

The vast majority of patients -some with comorbidities- were members of the nursing staff of the same private clinic in San Miguel de Tucuman, and one was a 70-year-old patient who had undergone surgery in this clinic.

After in-depth examinations at the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires, a national reference for infectious diseases, the Argentine Minister of Health Carla Vizzotti assured on Saturday that the bacterial agent in question is Legionella, its precise type, probably Legionella pneumophila, being being identified.

Legionellosis is a serious pulmonary infection of bacterial origin, the contamination of which can be done through the respiratory route by inhaling the bacteria, “through water or air conditioning“, recalled Ms. Vizzotti.

She announced “ongoing measurements in the clinic to identify if it (the bacterial agent) is in the water, and on the accumulator tank“, in order to “use the clinic again without any risk“.

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