Argentina's northern province of Jujuy has reported a first case of a patient suffering of the hanta virus contagion. The report is considered very serious since in the Patagonian province of Chubut there have been several deaths and some 85 residents of a town are in quarantine to stop the spread of the virus contagion.
”The first positive case of hanta virus in San Pedro de Jujuy (provincial capital) has been confirmed positive, said the provincial Health Department. Apparently it is a 58 year old man who has already been hospitalized.
The Jujuy Health Department also recalled that the province is in an endemic area and several cases of hanta virus are reported every year.”
In the Patagonian town of Epuyen where an epidemiologic contingency has been declared since last December, ten people have died and some 85 residents out of a total population of 3.000 are in quarantine.
Judge Martin Zacchino ordered the 85 residents to stay in their homes for at least 30 days to help halt the outbreak. The order affects residents in Epuyen who have been in contact with people who tested positive for the virus.
Some people in the town of 3,000 had resisted calls for voluntary isolation. Town officials also have suspended gatherings in municipal facilities, including funerals.
At least 29 people in the region have fallen ill from hantavirus since early December. Apparently the first victims followed a birthday party in a nearby farm.
People can become infected through contact with hantavirus-infected open range long tail rodents, be ti through their saliva, urine and/or droppings, or by close contact with an infected person. Contamination also happens when breathing in closed spaces where these mice can be found, and which apparently was the case with the Jujuy patient.
Argentina recorded 93 hanta virus cases in 2018, of which nine in Chubut, according to the national Health and Social Development ministry. Since 2013 the death toll has been 111. Likewise the Argentine Health Research Labs and Institutes are trying to determine whether the virus has undergone genome mutations that could make it more lethal or transmissible.