A mysterious disease similar to COVID-19 is spreading in Argentina. At least three people have died this week from a mysterious case of pneumonia.
According to Argentine health officials, six more people have been found infected with the pneumonia of unknown origin.
Nine People Were Infected With Mysterious Disease
Of the nine people who have been infected, eight were health workers, and one was an ICU patient being treated at a private clinic in Tucumán -- a small region 800 miles northwest of the capital Buenos Aires, according to the New York Post.
Tucuman health minister Luis Medina Ruiz said they have already ruled out COVID-19, flu, influenza types A and B, the legionella bacterial disease and the hantavirus spread by rodents.
Patients Have Severe Respiratory Condition
No new cases have been reported after August 22, but concerns are high as influenza and hantavirus possibilities have also been ruled out.
According to Ruiz, patients developed symptoms between August 18 to 22.
He also pointed out that the common symptoms among these patients is the severe respiratory condition with bilateral pneumonia and "compromise in [x-ray] images very similar to COVID, but that is ruled out."
Patients Were Also Tested For More Than 30 Bugs
These patients were also tested for more than 30 bugs — including 'Covid, cold, influenza of both type A and B' — all of which came back negative. Samples have been sent to Argentina's National Administration of Health Laboratories and Institutes for further analysis, according to Daily Mail.
Hospitals Ordered To Lock Down
Due to the severity of the mystery disease, the hospital has been ordered to lock down. Health officials are also tracing the contacts of patients to curb the spread of the disease.
There are also possibilities that the disease could be the result of the bacterial outbreak that have potentially emerged from contaminated water or air conditioning units.