International alarm over mysterious flu ‘similar to Covid’ causes dozens to become seriously ill

A flu-like mystery illness that bears a chilling similarity to the early emergence of Covid-19 has caused dozens of hospitalizations in Argentina, putting global health officials on high alert mode.

On April 17, news broke of an alert about the virus circulating through an international public health surveillance system previously used during the initial spread of Covid-19 – the database is known as ProMed. About 60 residents of Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, are reportedly battling the serious illness, details of which have been made available through an anonymous source “through a person known to ProMed.”

According to the alert: “Over the past 30 days, there appears to have been an increase in severe atypical pneumonia requiring critical care in Buenos Aires. Affected individuals are mostly young people without major risk factors.”

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Although no official statements from Argentine authorities have yet been released, there are reports of patients requiring mechanical ventilation for breathing assistance, the Daily Star reports.

Interestingly, more than a third of these patients appear to exhibit symptoms of psittacosis, a disease caused by an avian-specific strain of chlamydia. Despite this connection, many of those affected claim that they have had no recent contact with birds.

Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, is a concern due to its flu-like symptoms, including mild headaches and coughing, but can escalate to pneumonia in severe cases. This disease is especially risky for the elderly or people with weakened immune systems.