Legionella bacteria suspected of causing illness in Argentina that killed three and sickened seven, health officials say
The illness, which killed 10 people in Argentina and killed three, may be caused by Legionella bacteria, the bacteria that causes Legionellosis, health officials said Saturday.
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the illness that has sickened 10 people associated with a private clinic in the city of San Miguel de Tucuman, officials said in multiple statements.
On Saturday, health officials said the Legionella bacteria had been identified in tests on four samples: three respiratory organs and a biopsy of a deceased person.
“The suspicion is that it is an outbreak of Legionella pneumophila,” the country’s health minister, Dr Carla Vizzotti, said in a statement.
The data are still preliminary, pending a final diagnosis, Vizzotti added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionella can be transmitted when people breathe in small droplets or accidentally swallow water containing the bacteria into their lungs. It can cause legionellosis, a serious form of pneumonia.
The 10 patients include three who were under observation and treatment and an 81-year-old man who was hospitalized in serious condition, according to the Tucuman province health ministry.
Three employees of the Luz Médica clinic also contracted the disease. Admitted she is a 40-year-old pharmacy assistant, her 44-year-old nurse being monitored at home, and her 30-year-old nurse. At a press conference this week, the state health minister.
The ministry said the three who died had pre-existing medical conditions or co-morbidities. Among the dead was a 70-year-old woman who underwent gallbladder surgery at the clinic, Lewis said.
She was initially considered “patient zero” in the cluster, but her case will be analyzed further, he said.
The first symptoms in six cases associated with the facility occurred between August 18 and 23, state health officials said. The latest cases included his three patients announced Thursday and his 81-year-old man announced Friday.
The Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization’s Americas agency, said Argentina’s health ministry notified Tuesday of the first cluster of six patients.
PAHO said Thursday that features of the then-mysterious illness included bilateral pneumonia, defined by infection in both lungs, fever, myalgia, abdominal pain and dyspnea.
PAHO said in a statement Thursday that tests for respiratory viruses and other viruses, bacteria and fungi have so far been negative in the first six cases.
At a press conference this week with Lewis and other medical experts, it was announced that initial tests also appear to rule out Covid-19, Legionella and Hantavirus, which can be spread by rodents. rice field.
Additional tests, including those that look for non-infectious, potentially drug-related or toxic-caused causes, are being conducted at the national laboratory run by the Argentine government, according to PAHO.