WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said in an email to CNN that the cases of eight health workers and one other patient were linked to a private clinic in San Miguel de Tucumán.
“Three of these cases have died, three are currently hospitalized and one is in stable condition and in home isolation,” Jasarevic said, adding that the case sample included Covid-19, influenza, Hanta It added that they had been analyzed for the virus but all were negative.
San Miguel de Tucuman is the capital of the agricultural province of Tucuman in northwestern Argentina.
The WHO and the Pan American Health Organization are following up on these reports and are providing support to Argentine health officials working to investigate the outbreak, Yasarevic said.
“The cause is currently under investigation by public health officials and all agencies. [hypotheses] Viruses and other pathogens are being investigated,” Yasarevic wrote. They are also conducting contact tracing and control actions at medical clinics related to the outbreak. ”
It’s important to wait for the results of public health research before drawing conclusions about the nature of the disease, said Dr Jake Dunning, a senior researcher in emerging and critical diseases at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Pandemic Science. I’m here. In a statement circulated by the UK-based Center for Science Media.
“The small cluster of acute severe respiratory illness of unknown cause currently being reported in Tucumán, Argentina, is a live event and investigations are ongoing. Understandably, there is interest and speculation as to the cause. It’s been two years in the making, but we’ll have to wait for the results of ongoing public health and clinical investigations.
“As it often happens in events of this kind, more cases may be identified and reported in the future, but that does not mean that this event is the beginning of a new pandemic.
Dunning noted that links to specific health centers could imply exposure to infected patients, but could also imply exposure to environmental factors or toxins.
“Argentina has extensive experience in investigating and managing acute respiratory illness outbreaks, especially those caused by infectious diseases (pandemic H1N1 influenza, COVID-19, Andean hantavirus infection, etc.). We hope that this cluster will remain relatively small and that the root cause will be elucidated because there are many, and it will be identified soon,” he said.
Dr Lance Turtle, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Liverpool, concurred, saying in a statement that “there is nothing to worry about at this stage”.
“Pneumonia is seldom really diagnosed down to which specific organism is causing it. Not all patients with pneumonia have the same clinical features and these can vary However, cases of pneumonia of unknown origin are probably frequent and unreported, so it’s hard to know how common this sort of thing really is.
CNN’s Carma Hassan contributed to this report.