In Argentina, three people die after contracting “pneumonia of unknown origin”

Three people have died in Argentina after contracting “pneumonia of unknown origin”, apparently located in a clinic in Tucuman, in the northwest of the country, local health authorities announced on Thursday (September 1st). Nine people in all, including eight members of the nursing staff, 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-19, influenza, type A and B influenza, or hantavirus (transmitted by rodents) have already been ruled out, according to the minister. Samples were sent to the Argentine reference laboratory, the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Virus hunters: the delicate management of contamination risks Toxic and environmental causes not ruled out The third victim is “a 70-year-old patient, who was hospitalized” for surgery in the clinic. According to Mr. Medina Ruiz, she could be “in principle the ‘zero patient’, but this is being examined”. On Wednesday, the minister had described common patient symptoms as “severe respiratory condition with bilateral pneumonia, and imaging very similar to Covid-19, but this has been ruled out”. The first six 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 people, two are hospitalized, and one is being monitored at residence. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers The WHO is looking for ways to improve the response to the next pandemics The Minister of Health of Tucuman estimated on Wednesday that the origin of the pathology could be an infectious agent, but that “toxic causes, environmental” were not excluded. Analyzes are also underway on water and air conditioning systems. The World with AFP