RARE CHAPARE VIRUS: DEADLY ‘EBOLA-LIKE’ VIRUS DETECTED IN BOLIVIA, CAN SPREAD FROM PERSON TO PERSON

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that a deadly virus like that of Ebola which can cause haemorrhagic fever in a person can be transmitted through person to person. The announcement from the USA’s CDC came on Monday, 16th November.

Currently, the entire world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic and the discovery of this rare and deadly communicative Chapare Virus in Bolivia have stirred some tension. But, according to the experts, the Chapare virus will not possibly cause a COVID-19 level pandemic in case of an outbreak. Nonetheless, the virus carries a potentially high risk and people need to be very careful to prevent any chances of an outbreak. 

WHAT ARE THE ASPECTS OF THE CHAPARE VIRUS HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER?

The Chapare Virus shares its characteristics with Ebola. It belongs to the family of arenavirus which can commonly spread through direct or indirect contact with the rodents carrying the disease. There are only 6 cases of the Chapare Virus recorded till date. The first case was recorded in 2003 in Bolivia, which proved to be fatal. Five cases were recorded in 2019 which led to 3 deaths. Here are some important points related to the virus:-

  • The Chapare Virus was discovered in the year 2004 in the Chapare Province of Bolivia. It earned its name from here. The virus initially diminished back in 2004 but last year 5 people were infected with the disease.
  • The virus can spread through direct and indirect contacts. Direct contact includes bites or scratches through the rodents. Indirect contact can be in the form of faeces, urine, saliva or droppings of the infected rodents. 
  • Common symptoms connected to the virus:-

*Fever

*Vomiting

* Skin Rash

* Pain

* Diarrhea

* Stomach Pain

* Irritability

* Bleeding Gums

* Abdominal Pain

  • The Virus can spread through person to person through bodily fluids and is fatal. But for now, no active case of the virus has been recorded.
  • In the 5 cases recorded in 2019, three people were healthcare workers and two of them died from the disease. In this outbreak, it was concluded that the virus is communicable and can potentially survive in the semen of the infected person for approximately 24 weeks or 168 days.
  • The virus was also found in the rodents. But the scientists and experts noted that this does not prove the possibility of rodents being the source of the virus. 
  • Treatments used:-

* Sedation

* Transfusions

* Pain Relief

* Maintaining Hydration

As for now, being extremely careful, maintaining hygiene and social distance is the best bet to prevent oneself from any disease and complications.

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