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Hantavirus: now will isolate the neighbor at Epuyén


This relates to those who have the closest contact with 13 confirmed cases. The idea is to prevent infection from person to person. The health team will remain in the area until the outbreak ends. The Artists' Festival was postponed and they guaranteed that supplies were there.

Health work continued in Epuyén due to sanitation warnings before the hantavirus outbreak. Minister of Health, Adrián Pizzi, led a series of activities together with the Secretary of Culture, Matías Cutro; the mayor of the city, Antonio Reato; responsible for the Esquel Area Program; sent from the National Health Secretariat and in charge of the Biological Control Unit of the Malbrán Institute in the city of Buenos Aires, Alexis Edelstein.

Before speaking to the neighbors there was a press conference. The minister described the hantavirus outbreak as "a unique and extraordinary event, with atypical behavior from this disease, because it is endemic in this province and we have used it more than 20 years ago. But it takes certain characteristics, and this brings us from time to time to analyze what happened, and take the definition. "

He stressed that "we have all the state sanitation structures that we have, and there are many who analyze this situation; in Buenos Aires there are meetings with well-known scientific associations and institutions, such as Muñiz hospital, El Cruce hospital; and the National Epidemiological Undersecretariat accompanying us. We accept contributions to this unprecedented situation. "

In Epuyén there will be a permanent presence from the contingency table between the institutions formed, until the outbreak ends. A Malbon biologist participates; director of Prevalent Pathology and Provincial Epidemiology, Teresa Strella and Zoonosis de Nación. On Thursday, they have 12 hours of work and six meetings discuss strategies and transmission chains to start taking steps, such as selective isolation from the people most associated with positive cases.

The minister announced that the Mental Health team would discuss the institutions and families most affected. "This is a problem that touches us as a health system, and we must have a health structure in an emergency situation." Infectologists from Zonal Esquel Hospital and associate directors participated in the meeting to ensure the care of people and health workers. And Nation evaluates the technology that will be used in the end. Pizzi communicates with the Health Minister Río Negro so that the province will provide Intensive Child Therapy, if necessary, and a hospital in Bariloche is available.

Pizzi said that hospitals in the Andes region have the resources available to obtain the supplies they need and that, due to wear and tear caused by the situation, work is being carried out to enable the replacement of human resources and health workers in several sectors.

The delay in the Festival of Artists scheduled in the city was confirmed for psychosocial reasons. "Mental health sees that people are worried and beaten by their losses, and that the municipality is paused, we support the mayor's decision; when the conditions are there, it will be celebrated."

On the other hand, Strella shows the steps of domicile needed to avoid transmission from person to person, minimizing close contact with people who live together. A "social isolation" will be carried out, with permanent contact with affected people in their homes. Also room ventilation, frequent hand washing, use of bleach in cleaning the house, and restrictions on leaving the house, among other recommendations, such as using chinstrap if you leave home.

"We have a need to be more demanding with those who have contacted patients who tested positive for hantavirus and who were being observed, until they were discarded," he said.

The daily section reports 2 cases that are being observed at Zonal Esquel Hospital; 13 cases were confirmed and 7 were discarded. There is someone who is being observed at the Rural de Epuyén Hospital. There were 3 patients in the HZE Intensive Care Unit, and 3 patients in the isolation ward.

Mayor Reato praised "great assistance from everyone" to Epuyén and stressed that "they work and do everything they can to achieve this goal once and for all."

"We need media (communication) to help us reach people so we know that everything is being done. Nothing is hidden," he said.

From Malbrán, Edelstein agrees that "this is an extraordinary event" in Epuyén, because what is presented "is not the normally known mechanism of transmission of hantaviruses; We need to make epidemiological analyzes of cases to modify how to deal with this epidemic."

"The health system is in accordance with the conditions and has worked because they have to operate," he said. "Selective isolation prevents potential risks because of low transmissibility and the public in general are not exposed".

The Committee concluded its presentation with open talks to the public, in the parking area of ​​the local City Gymnasium, to provide information and answers to neighbor's concerns. (Source:

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