Guatemala reports first case of fungal infection and calls for Giamatti’s resignation

By AFP / EFE

The head of the epidemiology department, Lorena Goburn, has issued a circular to directors and heads of laboratories in the health fields and public and private hospitals, ordering increased control measures when the first case is confirmed. He explained in the note that she is a 56-year-old woman from Patzicia, Chimaltenango, with a history of type 2 diabetes. The diagnosis of black fungus was obtained on June 23.

Guatemala: A patient who died without medical attention

In addition, Gobern noted that health authorities suspect that a 23-year-old relative of the referred woman may also have black fungus, but the case is still being evaluated. The woman suspected of having the disease was discovered at Tecpan Hospital, also in Chimaltenango, and is now being admitted to San Juan de Dios in the capital for treatment and investigation. This person also has a history of type 2 diabetes.

Initiate preventive measures

The alert specifies “the intensification of monitoring, prevention and control measures in patients with novel coronavirus with comorbidities, such as diabetes mellitus, corticosteroid treatments, and diseases that threaten the immune status of patients.”

Mucosal mycosis is a fungal infection that can be fatal for some patients. It affects the sinuses, brain, lungs, and eyes. For specialists, this rapid spread of fungal infection is largely due to the uncontrolled use of corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with coronavirus.

Overuse or consumption of these medicines by people whose immune systems have been weakened by disease, increases the risk of infection with this fungus.

In addition, specialists point out some environmental causes that Encouraging the reproduction of the “black fungus” and the multiplication of infections, Such as polluted water in oxygen tubes or humidifiers.

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According to the publication, the disease had the greatest impact in India, but it was also confirmed in the United Kingdom and Italy. In Latin America, cases have been reported in Brazil, Chile, the United States, Honduras, Mexico and Uruguay.

They are calling for the resignation of Guatemala’s president over his handling of the pandemic

Several social organizations demanded, on Saturday, the resignation of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamatti, due to the handling of the epidemic and the lack of vaccines against Covid-19 in the Central American country. The Convergence Coalition for Human Rights, made up of 11 social organizations, issued a statement calling for the “immediate resignation” of Giamatti and the “powers of the Guatemalan Ministry of Health”.

“Because this government has the largest budget allocated, which will allow it to deal with many of the effects of the pandemic, resources have been distorted or have ended up in the pockets of individuals, especially the close circle of Alejandro Giamatti,” the press release stated.

The organizations emphasized that the “deficit” of Giamatti’s government “only led to an increase in poverty, extreme poverty and malnutrition in the country.” “After a year and a half in the exercise of power, Alejandro Giamatti has shown sufficient evidence that he has followed the path of pursuing and expanding corruption with impunity, above protecting the population,” the statement added. The Convergence Coalition for Human Rights consists of the entities Justicia Ya, the Myrna Mack Foundation, the National Union of Guatemalan Women, the Institute for Comparative Studies in Criminal Sciences of Guatemala, the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, and the Center. For forensic analysis, applied sciences, community studies team, and psychosocial work, among others.

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Guatemala has reported just over 750 deaths from SARS-CoV-2 in the last 15 days, in one of the disease’s deadliest periods since March 2020, according to official data from the Ministry of Health.

The 750 deaths equate to 8% of the total deaths from COVID-19 in Guatemala, which as of Friday’s latest update adds up to 9,350 deaths from the virus. The country headed by Giamatti, with a population of 16.3 million, has one of the worst vaccination records on the continent, according to indicators from international organizations.

According to official figures, one in two Guatemalan children is malnourished and 59% of the population lives below the poverty line.

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