Dr George Christos

covid19 & other Infectious diseases

Mystery deadly pneumonia (1 in 3 deaths so far) hits Argentina

#SAARS (Severe Argentinian Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

So far 9 cases (8 health care workers and 1 patient) of this disease have been identified and 3 of them have died, with bi-lateral pneumonia. The others were all in critical condition. One looks to be recovering. Patients present with an aggressive pneumonia. Most appear to be medical staff at the same clinic/hospital (possibly “Sanatorium Luz Médica”). Most working adults. Details are still sketchy. We know that one doctor has died. So far the case fatality rate (CFR) or death rate is >33%. We still do not know if the others will recover, hence the “>” symbol. It’s origin and means of transmission are unknown. Symptoms include fever, myalgia (muscle pain), abdominal pain, and dyspnoea (shortness of breath).

They have also not been able to identify the new pathogen. Testing has ruled out coronavirus, influenza, hantavirus and about 30 other possible causes. It is not even known if it is a virus or a bacteria. Legionella has been ruled out. technically a fungus can also cause pneumonia. DNA samples are being stored so it can be identified later.

So far it has only been found in the Tucumon region of Argentina and MUST be isolated immediately.

If it is an infectious disease, hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing should help curb its spread. We do not know if the disease is transmittable. All the people could have been infected by a rat for example.


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