First Case of Western Equine Encephalitis Confirmed in Santa Fe

First Case of Western Equine Encephalitis Confirmed in Santa Fe

A 66-Year-Old Man Contracts the Disease

A 66-year-old man from the General Obligado department has been confirmed as the first case of Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) in Santa Fe. The man began experiencing symptoms at the end of November and lived in a rural area. Unfortunately, he had other health issues as well. This disease is impacting horses and has recently surfaced in humans. Currently, there are a total of 12 confirmed cases—six in Santa Fe and six in other parts of the country.

The Ministry of Health reported that the patient who passed away had comorbidities and lived in a rural area. Presently, the country has 12 confirmed cases, encompassing the individual who succumbed to the disease. Among the 11 others who contracted the illness, seven have been discharged from the hospital, while four are still undergoing treatment. Six cases are from Santa Fe, three from the central north, and three from the central south.

On December 20, the first case of Western Equine Encephalitis in humans was reported. Medical professionals admitted the patient to a hospital in the city of Reconquista. This was the first case in over two decades, as the last recorded cases were in 1983 and 1996.

Since the first human case was detected, there has been increased surveillance by health providers nationwide. This has led to the discovery of at least 12 cases in the country.

Cases in Horses

The National Agri-Food Health and Quality Service (Senasa) reported positive results in horses with nervous symptoms and mortality in General San Martín, General Ocampo, and Coronel Juan Facundo Quiroga in the province of La Rioja. Authorities have confirmed a total of 1,193 positive outbreaks, detecting 34 through laboratory tests and diagnosing 1,159 based on clinical symptoms and epidemiological links.

Outbreaks have been reported in several provinces, including Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Corrientes, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Santiago del Estero, Río, La Pampa, San Luis, Salta, and La Rioja.

WHO alerts on TB surge

What is Western Equine Encephalitis?

The virus-causing Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes, leading to the disease. It primarily impacts rural areas and does not spread from person to person.

In humans, the incubation period is 2 to 10 days. Most cases are either asymptomatic or present with mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and general discomfort. These symptoms usually resolve within 7 to 10 days.

To thwart the disease, experts recommend actively maintaining environmental sanitation. This involves preventing mosquito breeding and safeguarding individuals residing or working in areas where mosquitoes thrive and horses are housed.

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