The government of Buenos Aires province report the cases of the 4 (four) adults hospitalized for acute diarrhea in Berazategui, which occurred in the first three weeks of January 2023, gave rise to a study on suspicion of an outbreak of food origin, due to the common history intake of meat and derivatives.
The analysis of the corresponding samples allows us to confirm the following results:
Two of the reported cases presented as a common history, the consumption of meat and derivatives from the same butcher shop (a 48-year-old man, deceased, and a 40-year-old man). In the remaining 2 cases, a common food source was not identified.
Food was confiscated in the identified butcher shop (minced meat and preparation for milanesas), as well as in the distributor transport (offal). The National Food Institute (INAL) of the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) carried out the analysis of the samples, reporting the absence of Salmonella and Escherichia Coli.
In the last week, leptospirosis was also confirmed in two of the cases (a 36-year-old man, deceased, and a 47-year-old man hospitalized).
Summary of the identified cases:
A 48-year-old male, who died on 1/12, whose symptoms of diarrhea began on 1/8, with a diagnosis of Salmonella Typhimurium in feces.
A 36-year-old male, with a history of diarrhea, admitted on 1/16 with septic shock, died on 1/17, with a diagnosis of Salmonella and Shigella in feces, and confirmation of leptospirosis.
A 40-year-old man, who started symptoms on 1/14, was admitted with a diagnosis of erysipelas and diarrhea due to Salmonella, and was discharged on 1/30 with good evolution (Linked to case 1 for having bought at the same butcher shop).
A 47-year-old male, who began with the symptoms on 1/17, was hospitalized on 1/20 with septic shock, who presented a good evolution, leptospirosis was also confirmed. In this case, no pathogenic bacteria were isolated in fecal material.
In the homes of the cases with a diagnosis of leptospirosis, rodent control was carried out through the placement of rodenticide bait at strategic points of the home and around the home, and serological analyzes were also carried out on the 3 canines belonging to the family of the deceased case, which they turned out negative.
Within the framework of the situation described, it is important to remind the population to adopt prevention and care practices for leptospirosis, a disease that is transmitted to people by direct contact with urine from infected animals and indirectly, through soil, water or materials contaminated with urine from said animals.
Bacteria called leptospires are shed in the urine of infected animals, contaminating the environment. The reservoirs can be: rodents, dogs, cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, goats, wild animals.
The gateway for these bacteria to enter the body are the mucous membranes and macerated skin.
The symptoms of this pathology are: acute fever, with headache, myalgia, sometimes followed by jaundice, meningitis, nephropathy, pneumonia, and hemorrhage.
The main prevention and care measures are the following:
●Avoid the accumulation of water in homes.
●Avoid contact with water and surfaces that may be contaminated.
●Eliminate garbage and debris so that they do not become a shelter for rodents.
●Keep waste in closed containers, preferably away from the ground to prevent them from being a source of food for rodents.
●Store food in dry and cool places, inside jars, plastic containers or cans with a lid more than 50 cm from the ground (do not use bags to store them as rodents break them easily).
●Strengthen hygiene in the home, and cover the holes in the houses through which rodents can enter.
●Disinfect with diluted bleach the places where rodent transit was observed, or there may be traces of rodent feces or urine using gloves and boots. Avoid sweeping or performing actions that may raise dust.
●Carry out rodent control in homes.
●Use rubber gloves and boots to carry out tasks of exterminating rats, weeding or cleaning vacant lots. Workers at occupational risk should especially adopt these guidelines.
When the symptoms described above appear, the nearest health service should be consulted quickly.
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