Last week, the regional health minister reported that the victims had “severe respiratory symptoms and double pneumonia”. The origin of the disease was unknown at the time. The first tests had shown that it was not Covid-19, the hanta virus or influenza A and B.
All of the infections, up to eleven, occurred at a local private clinic. Among the victims are nurses from the clinic. Samples had been taken from the victims and examined at the famous Malbrán Institute in Buenos Aires. This institute has just established a positive result for the Legionella bacterium.
Health Minister Carla Vizzotti gave an explanation today in San Miguel. She said not all samples taken from the victims had yet been analyzed and therefore the diagnosis was not yet final.
Legionella pneumophila is a bacterium that multiplies and spreads primarily via (hot) water systems that have not been flushed or cleaned. The bacterium also circulates in air conditioners, for example. People who inhale the bacteria in the shower or near a sprinkler system can contract so-called Legionnaires’ disease. This can lead to flu-like symptoms, but also severe pneumonia with a fatal outcome.
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