Two people have died from mystery pneumonia in Argentina with others hospitalised amid fears of a new viral outbreak.
Health officials in the South American country said they were infected with ‘pneumonia of unknown origin’.
According to Mail Online, the cases are among eight health workers and one ICU patient treated at a private hospital in Tucumán, Buenos Aires.
Officials are concerned because Covid, influenza, and hantavirus have all been ruled out.
It comes two-and-a-half years after reports of unexplained pneumonia began to leak out of Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It turned out to be Covid.
The first six patients started exhibiting symptoms between August 18 and 22.
Of the last three cases, two are receiving hospital treatment and one is being monitored at home
Luis Medina Ruiz, Tucumán’s minister of health, told local media: ‘What these patients have in common is the severe respiratory condition with bilateral pneumonia and compromise in [X-ray] images very similar to Covid, but that is ruled out.’
He said the patients were tested for more than 30 bugs including ‘Covid, cold, influenza of both type A and B’ all of which came back negative.
Samples have been sent to Argentina’s National Administration of Health Laboratories and Institutes for further analysis.
The hospital has been locked down and contacts of patients are being traced and isolated.