- The microorganism is named after the Bolivian province where it was first detected in 2004.
- ''Hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola rarely spread as widely as respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19.''
- May cause life-threatening fever, headache, abdominal discomfort, rash, organ failure, and bleeding.
A group of researchers from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered human-to-human transmission of a foreign virus in Bolivia that can cause hemorrhagic fevers, and is similar to Ebola. This raises potential concerns of additional outbreaks in the future.
This is according to new findings presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).
The microorganism is named after the Bolivian province where it was first detected in 2004, and is being investigated by the CDC. The experts were only aware that the virus was transmitted by contact with rat urine or droppings.
Likewise, a small outbreak was triggered last year with three deaths out of five infected was studied, reflecting a high fatality rate.
There are no active Chapare outbreaks in 2020, and even in the case of new outbreaks, the virus is unlikely to cause a pandemic, according to virus experts, the Live Science site maintains.
”Hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola rarely spread as widely as respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19”, Colin Carlson, a Georgetown University researcher who studies zoonotic diseases, told Live Science.
The scientist explained that this is because symptoms of hemorrhagic fever usually appear shortly after infections (as opposed to long incubation periods for respiratory illnesses), and direct contact with body fluids is generally necessary to contract a hemorrhagic illness. .
However, outbreaks can devastate health care systems, with large numbers of health workers falling ill after treating infected patients.
ASTMH Studied the Transmission Line:
- A 65-year-old rice farmer contracted the disease from being in contact with rodents, and later infected the doctors who attended him.
- A 25-year-old college student who cared for the patient became ill after nine days, and the same happened to the gastroenterologist who performed an endoscopy on his infected colleague.
- An ambulance technician who would have performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the initial patient, together with another farmer, were also infected, but successfully circumvented the disease.
- They detected a viral load in the semen of a survivor, 168 days after infection, which makes sexual transmission possible, although 100% is not confirmed.
May cause life-threatening fever, headache, abdominal discomfort, rash, organ failure, and bleeding.
The first sign of the 2019 outbreak was found in a collection of body fluids that turned up in a Santa Cruz lab.
Doctors who collected the samples believed the patients had contracted dengue, a life-threatening mosquito-borne disease that can also cause fever and internal bleeding.
In the absence of specific medications for Chapare, patients can only receive supportive care, such as intravenous stabilizing drugs.
Chapare belongs to a group of viruses called arenaviruses. These include dangerous pathogens like the lassa virus, which causes thousands of deaths every year in West Africa, and the Machupo virus, which caused deadly outbreaks in Bolivia.