Doctors battle mystery illness 'similar to Covid' after 60 people hospitalised in Argentina

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60 people in Buenos Aires have been left critically ill after developing a “severe atypical pneumonia”

Doctors in Argentina are battling to fight a Covid-like respiratory illness after multiple patients were hospitalised in Buenos Aires.

Around 60 patients are said to have been developed a “severe atypical pneumonia requiring critical care”. The alert was raised by ProMed, the international public health surveillance system which first flagged the rise in Covid to authorities in 2019.

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The alert read: "In the past 30 days, there appears to have been an increase in severe atypical pneumonia requiring critical care in Buenos Aires. The affected individuals are mostly young people without major risk factors." Argentinian health authorities have not yet commented on the situation, despite reports that some patients being treated for the mystery illness has needed assistance to breathe with mechanical ventilation machines. It was also reported that a third of patients were showing symptoms of psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, which is a type of chlamydia commonly found in birds despite not having any recent contact with the animals. Doctors are said to be concerned about the flu-like symptoms associated with the illness that can then escalate to pneumonia.

The alert added: "Although psittacosis appears to be the etiology of some of the cases, there may be more than one agent involved. ProMED would appreciate more information about these cases." The Daily Mail reports that while there are concerns for the patients and experts have urged health officials not to treat the situation lightly, authorities believed that it is “unlikely” to “pose a threat more widely”.

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