What do we know about the mysterious pneumonia which has already claimed three lives?


A third person has died from a pneumonia of unknown origin”, apparently located in a clinic in Tucuman, in the northwest of Argentina, local health authorities announced on Thursday.

Nine people in all, including eight members of the medical staff of the same private clinic, have been affected by the respiratory pathology and three have died since Monday, provincial health minister Luis Medina Ruiz told the press. Tests are underway on the origin of the disease, but Covid, flu, type A and B influenza, or hantavirus (transmitted by rodents) have already been ruled out, according to the minister.

Toxic or environmental causes not excluded

Samples were sent to the Argentine Reference Laboratory, the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires. The third victim is a 70-year-old patient, who was hospitalized » for surgery in the same clinic where the other cases are members of the nursing staff. According to Mr. Medina Ruiz, she could be “ in principle the ‘zero patient’, but it is under examination ». On Wednesday, the minister had described common patient symptoms as “ severe respiratory condition with pneumonia bilateral, and imaging very similar to Covid, but this has been ruled out ».

The six initial cases had presented symptoms between August 18 and 22, the three new cases announced on Thursday presented symptoms between August 20 and 23. Of these three new cases, two are hospitalized, and one is being monitored at home. The Minister of Health of Tucuman estimated on Wednesday that the origin of the pathology could be an infectious agent, but that were not excluded ” toxic, environmental causes ». Analyzes are also underway on water and air conditioning systems.

With Belgium

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.