Argentina: Haunted by hanta-virus or by the IMF?

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Sat Jun 3 21:28:55 MDT 2000

A consequence of budget reductions in the health care area.

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From:                   "amendez" <amendez at>
To:                     <pol-cien at>
Subject:                pol-cien :  Fondos que recortáis2
Date sent:              Sat, 3 Jun 2000 21:51:27 -0300

----- Original Message -----
From: ProMED-mail
<promed at promed.isid.harvar>To: <promed-
ahead at>Sent: Saturday, June 03, 2000 6:51 PMSubject: PRO/AH>
Hantavirus pulmonary synd. - Argentina: update

> ***********************************************
> A ProMED-mail post
> <>
> > [see also:> Hantavirus pulmonary synd. - Argentina (Buenos Aires) 2000.0149]
> Date: 30 May 2000
> From: M. Cosgriff
<mcosgriff at>
> Source: AP in Seattle Times, 28 May 2000 [edited]
> Argentina has reported more than 270 cases, more than any other >
nation,  said Joni Young, hantavirus-surveillance coordinator for the
> Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
> During a 1996 to 1997  outbreak in that country, the disease was
> passed person to person, instead  of through deer-mice droppings,
> Young said. All other cases are believed to  have resulted from
> contact with deer mice.
> Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome begins much like the flu, with muscle
> aches and a fever, followed by shortness of breath and coughing. It
> typically  progresses rapidly, requiring hospitalization and help
> with breathing  within 24 hours. CDC officials said 40 - 60 percent
> of the cases have been  fatal, but health officials are unsure why
> some victims survive. Since it  is spread through rodent urine,
> feces or saliva, people typically contract  the disease in rural
> areas by inhaling the virus particles while cleaning 
> out a rodent-infested space, such as a barn or stable.
> [Byline Robert Weller]
> --
> M. Cosgriff
> <mcosgriff at>

Additionally (from my own, Néstor):
An economy and a society that are oriented towards the export sector
suffers from additional health problems. In Argentina there are at
least two serious socially determined diseases: the Fiebre
Hemorrágica Argentina (AKA "mal de los rastrojos", fallow disease),
which has never been finally controlled, in the Pampa region, and the
Chagas-Mazza Disease (mal de Chagas), which would be simply
elliminated by providing decent housing to poor people throughout
rural areas.

The once very developed and autonomous Argentinian health industry
NEVER paid attention to these diseases, which affected poor strata of
our population and were thus no good deal. Official science, however,
did not behave better. Though there are great examples to show, such
as Drs. Ramón Carrillo or Salvador Mazza, mainstream medical science
has not given care to these issues. They concentrated, generally, in
general surgery (the Finochietto brothers), or in diabetes (Houssay,
one of "our" Nobel Prize winners).

Only a few scientists can work on these areas, underpaid and with
little support. They are generally Leftish people. Certain viruses
have a tendency to breed Leftists.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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