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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 08:31 UTC

 

 

First human case of equine encephalitis reported in Argentina

Thursday, December 21st 2023 - 10:38 UTC
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WEE has been known since 1930, but starting a few years ago their vaccination was no longer mandatory WEE has been known since 1930, but starting a few years ago their vaccination was no longer mandatory

Argentine authorities confirmed Wednesday the first case of Equine Encephalitis in a human patient who was hospitalized in Reconquista, in the province of Santa Fe. The last records of humans affected by this disease in the country date back to 1983 and 1996. No vaccines are effective in humans.

The man was diagnosed from samples sent by the “Olga Stucky de Rizzi” Hospital, in Reconquista, to the National Institute of Human Viral Diseases given the patient's symptoms.

The Government of Santa Fe explained that ”the Provincial and National Ministries of Health confirmed the positive result for Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) in samples from a patient who resides in the department of General Obligado.” The patient was said to be hospitalized and recovering favorably.

So far, 920 cases of WEE have been reported in horses in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Chaco, La Pampa, Santiago del Estero, Formosa, and Río Negro.

In humans, WEE has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days. Most cases are asymptomatic or just mild symptoms with fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and general malaise that take between 7 to 10 days to recover.

Health authorities have urged the population to keep up prevention measures to avoid the proliferation of mosquitoes. WEE is a disease caused by a virus that is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes that act as vectors.

In Argentina, there are between 2.5 and 3.5 million horses. WEE has been known since 1930, but starting a few years ago their vaccination was no longer mandatory. Hence the short supply. Despite a resurge in local production in addition to importing doses, the amount of vaccines available in the coming days would only cover between 40% to 50% of the horse population, according to local media. And even when or if they arrive, they still need time for the animal to develop immunity.

Categories: Health & Science, Argentina.

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