BA province official warns other localities should expect infectionsThursday, July 3, 2014
Specialists identify retrovirus that killed 5 babies
A gastrointestinal virus that killed five children in western Greater Buenos Aires during the past month was yesterday identified by a team of infectious disease specialists as a rotavirus, which a provincial Health Ministry official warned “is going to show up in children in other parts of the province in the coming days.”
Despite the clarification, provincial Preventative Medicine director Luis Crovetto and the pediatric health community in general yesterday continued urging parents of babies under the age of two to respond quickly to any possible symptoms, including respiratory problems, by taking their children directly to hospital.
The situation had been causing alarm since the start of the week, with the Argentine Pediatrics Society (SAP) having recommended that City and provincial hospitals “be put in a state of alert.” For his part, Crovetto had called for “calm” as laboratory studies were concluded to determine the nature of the virus.
The virus “is going to appear in children in other parts of the province in the coming days,” he told Radio América.
Ten children aged eight to 13 months with gastrointestinal and respiratory systems have in the past month contracted the particular strand of rotavirus identified yesterday by specialists from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, the Garrahan Pediatric Hospital, SAP, and the Malvinas Argentinas Health Secretariat, among others. Five of them died and another continues in intensive care at the Claudio Zin Pediatric Hospital in the Malvinas Argentina’s district, the hospital reported.
Warning to parents
Pediatrics specialists yesterday called on parents to continue taking precautions with their children.
The situation is “what in medicine is called a huge chapter of winter diarrhea, which happens every year,” sometimes as a result of the “respiratory problems” common to the colder months, Crovetto said.
He had described the cause as “no strange virus or sickness.”
Rotavirus is a common gastrointestinal illness in children aged six-months to five-year, and kills 25 people a year in Argentina.
Herald staff with DyN