The Argentina Ministry of Health said that legionella has been confirmed as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases associated with a health clinic in the province of Tucuman, Argentina. According to a statement by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on Sunday, a total of 11 cases have been identified, including four deaths in patients with comorbidities till now.
Legionella bacteria are responsible for causing Legionnaires’ disease which is a serious type of pneumonia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Legionella, in particular bacterium L. pneumophila, is associated with outbreaks of severe pneumonia.
The most common form of transmission is the inhalation of contaminated aerosols produced in conjunction with water sprays, jets, or mists. Moreover, the infection can also occur by aspiration of contaminated water or ice, particularly in susceptible patients in hospital environments. Treatment includes the administration of antibiotics for several weeks or months.
“The Argentina Ministry of Health and the provincial health authorities are working to identify the source and implement appropriate control measures. They are collecting environmental samples, conducting risk assessments, and implementing actions in the healthcare clinic related to the outbreak,” PAHO said in a statement on Sunday.
Meanwhile, PAHO also stated that they will send a multidisciplinary team of experts this week for surveillance, infection control measures within hospital care, and the identification of the origin of the outbreak at the hospital infrastructure level.