Authorities are investigating to see if the admission of six people to hospital in central Argentina is linked to the deaths of 24 people last week from the consumption of cocaine laced with opioids, the local Rosario health body said on Monday.
Four people were admitted to hospital on Sunday in the city of Rosario with “sensory deterioration and respiratory” problems, said the health authority.
Another two arrived at hospital after midnight and all six “had consumed substances.”
Two of the patients are in a serious condition needing help to breath.
“Some suffered convulsions and in the case of the critical patients they have been intubated,” Silvia Marmiroli, the subsecretary at Rosario Health, told TN news channel.
“We have not yet identified what substance provoked the poisoning, we’re waiting for the public prosecutor’s office to intervene.”
The patients claimed to have taken a variety of substances including alcohol and mood altering drugs.
“My brother went with a friend to buy drugs in the Las Flores neighborhood and afterwards he started feeling unwell, lost his balance and fell to the ground,” Gustavo, who did not give his surname, told TN.
Last week 24 people died in Buenos Aires after consuming opioid-laced cocaine while 200 more needed hospital treatment.
A police investigation is trying to determine whether the Rosario cases are linked to the ones in Buenos Aires where they seized 20,000 drug doses and arrested a dozen people.
Rosario is around 300-kilometers northwest of Buenos Aires and is the third most populous city in Argentina with 1.3 million inhabitants.