Third death from pneumonia of unknown origin in Argentina –

Argentina has reported a third death from bilateral pneumonia of unknown origin in the province of Tucumán (northwest) and it is being investigated whether it is patient zero of the outbreak, health authorities reported this Thursday. “This is a 70-year-old patient who was hospitalized in a private sanatorium,” said the provincial Minister of Health, Luis Medina Ruiz, at a press conference. Among those infected, the Ministry of Health ruled out Covid, flu and influenza as causes. “We are studying the origin of the outbreak and the epidemiological link, we are still in the process of investigation,” explained the minister. Until Wednesday, the authorities had reported six cases and this Thursday they reported three more infections. The third deceased was the only one among those infected who did not belong to the health personnel of the private clinic in San Miguel de Tucumán (1,300 km north of Buenos Aries), where the cases were reported and who has been isolated as a precaution. The new fatal victim “had undergone surgery for a gallbladder problem and reoperated twice. From then on, she had a lung infection that coincides with the date of appearance (of symptoms) of the other patients », said the minister. “It is not very clear what the start was because everything is around August 20. We understand that she is patient zero at first, but that is under study, “added Medina Ruiz. The samples of the first six cases are being investigated by the laboratory of the Malbrán Institute, the main benchmark in the country. The three new reported cases “are health personnel from the sanatorium who began with symptoms around August 20 and 23, so in principle they correspond to the same outbreak and the same place of contagion,” Medina Ruiz said. “Possibly it is an infectious etiological agent (a virus), and we must demonstrate that and find out what it is, if it is a viral infectious germ of not so severe contagion,” said the provincial Minister of Health, adding that since on August 22 last there are no new patients with this picture. In addition, the health authorities are working to carry out the investigation of the outbreak, which includes the follow-up of the contacts of the cases and specific control actions in the health center where the outbreak arose, according to the ministry in a statement.