Chapare Virus: All You Need to Know About the Rare Ebola-like Virus
The researchers at the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that an ebola-like deadly virus called Chapare can be transmitted through human-to-human. At a time when the world is struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, a discovery like this can be worrying. However, the researchers believe this rare virus that originated in rural Bolivia is highly unlikely to cause a major outbreak.
What is the Chapare virus?
The Chapare virus comes from the Arenaviridae family of viruses that are also responsible for the Ebola virus disease (EVD). It causes Chapare hemorrhagic fever (CHHF) which usually spread through direct or indirect contact with infected rodents. Though it is a rare disease, it can be deadly and has claimed a few lives in the past. Researchers believe that the virus may have been circulating in Bolivia for several years until they were discovered.
How is the Chapare virus transmitted?
The CDC says the Chapare virus is usually carried by rats or other rodents. They can be transmitted through direct contact from the infected ones or indirectly through their urine and faeces. It is now known that it can also be transmitted through an infected person.
The Chapare virus is not transmissible through air but only through contact with bodily fluids. Healthcare professionals are at a higher risk of catching the disease and hence should be very careful while treating the patients suffering from it.
What are the Symptoms of Chapare hemorrhagic fever?
The symptoms of the Chapare virus include fever, headache, stomach pain, joint and muscle pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding gums, rashes and irritability.
Treatment of Chapare fever
There are no drugs available that can treat the disease and therefore, patients suffering from CHHF are usually administered supportive therapies which include hydration, pain relief, sedation and transfusions etc.
Past occurrences of Chapare virus outbreak
According to the CDC, there have been two instances of Chapare virus outbreak that have been recorded. The first was as early as 2003 in the Chapare Province of Bolivia, from where it gets the name. It claimed the life of one person during that occurrence. The second and the biggest outbreak was recorded last year in the Bolivian capital of La Paz. Five persons had contracted the virus, out of which two medical professionals and one patient died.