BUENOS AIRES, Sept 5 — Legionnaires’ disease has claimed a fifth life among patients and staff at a clinic in northern Argentina, provincial health officials announced Sunday.

The health ministry in Tucuman province had announced four earlier deaths on Saturday, all in the clinic in San Miguel de Tucuman, and said a total of 11 people had been infected by the rare, but severe, lung disease.

The latest death was that of a 64-year-old man with co-morbidities, officials said.

Of the six others infected, three remain in hospital and the others are being monitored at home, said Luis Medina Cruz, the Tucuman health minister.


Local officials said they are examining the clinic’s water supply and air-conditioning system.

The disease, which first appeared at a 1976 convention of the American Legion veterans group in the United States, has been linked to contaminated water and unclean aeration systems. Symptoms include high fever, aches and trouble breathing.

An Argentine laboratory identified the disease as Legionnaires’ after ruling out Covid-19, flu and hantavirus. — AFP