A population abandoned to its destination | Neighbors of E …



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As the uncertainty grows among the affected population, more than 1,400 km from Epuyén, where the outbreak of hantavirus that produced ten deaths, 28 confirmed cases of contagion and more than 80 people in isolation, the Secretary of Health of the Nation Adolfo Rubinstein assured that the national government is "working side by side with Chubut health authorities to control" the situation. In Chubut, neighbors and relatives of those affected who spoke on the telephone or who expressed themselves through social networks, strongly indicated the feeling of helplessness that subjugates them, given the lack of response by the authorities. "Today, more than forty days after the first hantavirus death in Epuyén, the only thing we are sure of is that we are confused, and alone, and with a well-founded suspicion that we have been lied to, by act or omission," writer and artisan Claudia Sastre, in an article published on the El Extremo Sur website.

From the distance from the City of Buenos Aires, in declarations to Radio Miter, while in the Ministry of Health did not finish to confirm if the carrier traveled in these days to Epuyén, Rubinstein assured that all the cases confirmed until today "began their epidemiological current". "In that Chubut population, the national authority said that" the measures are for isolation, biosafety and biological containment in the city. "This is the isolation of all those who have had contact with some of the cases. the outbreak, which is what I think we are reaching now. " The outbreak was detected in early December and only on Sunday did the provincial governor, Mariano Arcioni, arrive in Epuyén, who on arrival said he would "live, eat and even live" in that mountainous city, a phrase he appealed after affirming I wanted to "bring peace" because "it is not good to generate a psychosis".

Claudia Sastre, in her reflection, emphasized that "what kills is ignorance, and ignorance is not always the lack of information". Sometimes the face of the information may be deliberately distorted and repeated, sometimes without bad faith, by involuntary accomplices. Ignorance can be the non-acceptance that could be wrong. "A review of the expressions collected by this newspaper in dialogue with residents of the affected region and local journalists accompanying the issue, generates a series of fears that mix uncertainties, doubts and certain certainties that nothing more do they provoke feelings that according to the governor of Chubut, you should not provoke in circumstances like this.The affected inhabitants do not want to appear with their names because they are "misunderstood" even by their neighbors:

  • Although the earliest infections occurred in a party at Epuyén, other people contracted the disease when they visited their sick relatives in intensive care settings without proper caution from health authorities.
  • At the time there were no hospitals, due to lack of supplies, masks that would have prevented such infections. And it is also feared, now, that the chin straps provided are not suitable.
  • There was, and still does not exist, according to some of the people affected, public information on how to avoid contagion.
  • There is even fear that due to the lack of prevention in the early days of the outbreak, there may even be medical personnel who may have infected and transmitted the disease.
  • There are complaints among the families of the people affected because they do not have any kind of restraint, not just to prevent new infections. Nor would they be receiving psychological restraint.
  • One of the interviewees pointed out that there are people who believe they may be infected, even if they do not have any of the symptoms. This is because "in the absence of serious information, everyone is carried away by the fear that this situation of uncertainty is forming."
  • There are criticisms because tourism authorities continue to promote travel to areas at risk "as if nothing had happened." A note published in the newspaper El Patagónico, after a visit to the most visited tourist spots in the region, such as Lake Puelo or El Bolsón, for example, tries to convince everyone that there is no reason to worry, when in Bariloche There are at least two people hospitalized of El Bolsón.
  • Some affected people who wanted to make public their complaints were threatened by the authorities and even criticized by some neighbors, because if they did, they would have to face legal action.
  • One of those affected said to a community media that, meanwhile, "we are alone, unaccompanied, without help and without the necessary information." If we do, they accuse us of wanting to generate psychosis. "

Meanwhile, in San Carlos de Bariloche, three patients hospitalized in isolation at the Ramón Carrillo Hospital in the city, awaited the results of the samples sent to the Malbrán Institute on suspicion of contracting hantavirus. Among the cases, there is a 38-year-old woman who was referred from El Bolsón. In the health center it was reported that "it is stable and without assistance of oxygen". An earlier study determined that it is a case of hantavirus, but as a rule, the final confirmation of the samples sent to Malbrán is missing. In Bariloche, a young man who also arrived from El Bolsón is also being treated and being studied as suspect cases. The first information indicated that this case would not be directly connected to the outbreak of Epuyén. In addition, a man who was in Epuyén last week and had fever and disease-like symptoms remained isolated since Monday, which is why "due to context" may coincide with the outbreak of hantavirus. It was said at the hospital in Bariloche that the young man and the hospitalized man are also "stable and clinically well".

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