Human-to-human transmission of rare 'Chapare virus' in Bolivia confirmed by scientists

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Nov 17, 2020, 06:23 PM IST

File photo Photograph:(AFP)

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found a rare virus in Bolivia

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found a rare virus in Bolivia. The virus in question is capable of human-to-human transmission, and can cause haemorrhagic fevers like Ebola.

The rare virus was discovered due to ongoing efforts of scientists around the globe to avert future pandemics like COVID-19, which has crippled the world and infected millions.

In 2019, two people with the virus had transmitted it to three healthcare workers in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Out of these, one patient and two medical workers died. In 2004, a small outbreak of the virus was registered in the Chapare region, which lies east of La Paz.

Caitlin Cossaboom, an epidemiologist with the CDC told The Guardian that “bodily fluids” could potentially carry the virus.

Additionally, rats to believed to carry the virus. They may have passed it on to human beings. Viruses that spread through bodily fluids are brought under control a lot easier than respiratory viruses.

According to the CDC, symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, bleeding gums, vomiting, skin rashes, and pain behind the yes. Owing to no virus specific treatments, most patients receive care through intravenous fluids.

“We isolated the virus, and we were expecting to find a more common disease, but the sequence data pointed to Chapare virus,” said Maria Morales-Betoulle, a pathologist at the CDC. “We were really surprised.”

On Monday, the findings of the Chapare virus were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

Human-to-human transmission highlights the importance of studying this virus, for it could cause a future outbreak.