Chapare Virus In Bolivia

Experts Fear Emerging Chapare Virus In Bolivia Might Be Capable Of Human Transmission


The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) has claimed that a deadly virus called Chapare, which is emerging in Bolivia state might be able to spread from human to human. This announcement has been made at the annual meeting of the organization. As per the experts, the Chapare virus leads to hemorrhagic fever. In the past, the disease has been seen in tiny clusters of patients; however, recently many emergency service workers have been infected with the virus after being exposed to a patient with the disease. Nearly three people have been diagnosed with the ailment in the capital city of Bolivia La Paz. Two of them have lost their lives as well.

Experts have confirmed that an ambulance medic, a young medical resident, and a gastroenterologist all of them have been infected after being exposed to infected patients. Two of these healthcare workers have succumbed to the disease. Experts from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention have claimed that bodily fluids can play a vital role in spreading the disease, which carries the virus. Experts have warned all the healthcare workers, who are dealing with suspected cases of Chapare virus to take extra precautions to avoid exposure from possible contaminants such as blood, urine, saliva, and semen. Scientists have not been able to find a mechanism through which the virus is spreading from human to human; nevertheless, they have said that saliva might play an important role in human transmission. An Ambulance medic has contracted the virus from a medical resident who has died due to the disease. This medical resident has been diagnosed with the disease after suctioning saliva from an infected person.

Experts as well have been able to identify viral RNA in a semen sample of a survivor after 168 days of infection. It proves that sexual transmission is another way for the transmission of the virus. Chapare can be defined as an arenavirus, which is a group of pathogens. It consists of the Lassa virus and the Machupo virus. Both viruses have led to deadly outbreaks in West Africa and Bolivia respectively. Such arenaviruses can trigger a hemorrhagic fever, which leads to multiple organ complications and bleeding in patients. This condition is seen among Ebola patients as well. Healthcare workers find it difficult to manage this kind of condition. Experts have not been able to find out the source of the Chapare outbreak in Bolivia yet. However, Viral RNA has been found in rodents close to the residence of the first patient who has been infected with the disease. Scientists have said that only viral RNA is not enough to confirm rodents as the source.

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