Lauterbach is relieved: Deadly pneumonia: Argentina discovered the cause

Lauterbach is relieved
Deadly pneumonia: Argentina discovers cause

For days, Argentina’s health authorities have been puzzling over the cause of severe pneumonia, which often occurs in a private clinic. Four people die from it. Now there is certainty: there is no threat of a new pandemic, but bacteria are to blame for the diseases.

The Argentine health authorities have given the all-clear after several cases of fatal pneumonia: They are due to legionella, said Health Minister Carla Vizzotti at a press conference in Tucumán on Saturday. The exact type of bacteria has yet to be determined.

The deaths of a total of four people had been reported since Monday, who died of “pneumonia of unknown cause”, as it was initially said. A total of eleven people were sick. All cases were found in the vicinity of a private clinic in Tucumán.

Health officials were trying to figure out what pathogen was causing the double pneumonia, which was accompanied by a high fever and difficulty breathing. During the investigations in a renowned laboratory in the capital Buenos Aires, the corona virus, influenza A and B flu viruses and hantaviruses were already ruled out as possible causes.

Legionella are heat-loving bacteria that multiply in fresh water and can cause severe pneumonia when people inhale the water contaminated with them in the form of very small droplets. However, many infections are harmless and more similar to mild colds. Older and weaker people are particularly at risk. Infections can usually be treated well with the right antibiotics.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach was relieved on Twitter. “No new pandemic. That would have been missing,” said the SPD politician. He responded to a tweet from Charité infectiologist Leif Erik Sander, who was also relieved that the outbreak was due to legionella. “No pandemic risk,” explained Sander.

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