Deaths from pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria increased to five this Sunday (4), in the Argentine city of Tucumã, where 11 people were infected in a private health clinic, the Ministry of Health of the homonymous province said.
“This is a 64-year-old man with comorbidities who was hospitalized in a serious condition in the public sector,” the provincial authorities said in a statement.
The Instituto Malbrán’s public laboratory for infectious diseases identified legionella as “the etiologic agent causing the outbreak of bilateral pneumonia [que atinge os dois pulmões]”, revealed yesterday the Minister of Health of Argentina, Carla Vizzotti.
Three of the remaining patients remain hospitalized, while another three are “under home care,” said Luis Medina Cruz, head of the Health Ministry in the province located 1,300 kilometers north of Buenos Aires.
“We are typing the specific type of bacteria, but it is possible that it is [legionella] pneumophila,” Vizzotti said. Of the 11 infected in the outbreak reported on Aug. 18, eight were healthcare workers at the clinic.
Legionella causes legionnaires’ disease, a very serious type of rare pneumonia that causes fever and acute lung infection.
The bacterium is transmitted by inhalation through water or air conditioning.
The etiologic agent is found in freshwater environments such as rivers and lakes. It can also spread through water pipes and air ducts.
From the outset, Covid, influenza, influenza and hantavirus were ruled out as causes of the outbreak.
© Agence France-Presse