Officials with the Government of Chubut in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina is reporting an unprecedented hantavirus outbreak.
According to the latest numbers (computer translated), 24 cases have been reported, including eight fatalities.
But the biggest concern of this outbreak is its person-to-person contagion. Dr. Teresa Strella said that this contagion occurs “due to close contact with patients, in the initial period of the febrile episode between the first 48 and 72 hours”, according to a local news source (computer translated).
It continues (loosely translated): She also explained that “this is something extraordinary” and “we do not believe that the virus is more aggressive than in other seasons. Always in this time we had cases of Hantavirus, as it happens in other parts of the country. ” She also clarified that “all cases were registered in the town of Epuyén without having registered cases in others in the area.”
As confirmed by doctors in the area, everything began on November 24 during the celebration of the birthday of a teenager. One individual contracted the disease while cleaning a shed. He spread the virus to his wife and also to the party girl. Both he and his wife recovered. The girl died. Was 14 years old. It was December 3 and he was the first victim. From that meeting the other cases arose, so much so that some 50 people belonging to that circle were isolated, in a kind of quarantine.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another. For example, you cannot get these viruses from touching or kissing a person who has HPS or from a health care worker who has treated someone with the disease.
In Chile and Argentina, rare cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred among close contacts of a person who was ill with a type of hantavirus called Andes virus.
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