All you need to know about the Chapare virus

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 18, 2020

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Experts speculate that the virus could cause an outbreak but does not have the potential to cause a pandemic like Covid-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informed on November 16 about a lethal animal virus that causes haemorrhagic fever like Ebola.

The symptoms of this infection include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding gums, skin rash, and pain can now spread through human-to-human contact.

According to the Science Times report, this hemorrhagic fever virus was first discovered in 2004 in the Bolivian province of Chapare and disappeared. The virus is called Chapare virus, named after the town it first emerged in.

The virus had infected at least five people in 2019.

Not a pandemic threat

Experts, cited in the Science Times, stated that the virus can be transmitted through bodily fluids and can kill infected people. However, no cases have been recorded of the virus this year. Experts speculate that the virus could cause an outbreak but does not have the potential to cause a pandemic like Covid-19.

Why is it dangerous?

According to the CDC, in 2019, three out of five who contracted the virus were health care workers in which two of them died.

Colin Carlston, a researcher from Georgetown University, told LiveScience that this virus spread quickly as a respiratory illness.

Emergence of the virus

Earlier in 2019, doctors confused it with dengue as it is similar to hemorrhagic fever prevalent in South America.

However, further tests did not show any signs of the dengue virus. Then the scientists decided to test it on other pathogens that are common in the region, such as yellow fever and Machupo, which are both deadly hemorrhagic fevers. However, the results came out negative.

The CDC's partnership with the Latin America-focused Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) had helped them finally identify the virus when PAHO gave a sample of the Chapare virus.

The outbreak in 2019 also revealed that the virus could spread from person to person.

The CDC experts further reported that the virus is also present in the semen of the survivor 168 days after he was infected.

Additionally, the virus was also found in rodents near the farmlands where the first infected patient lived.

Published on November 18, 2020

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