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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Scientists Discover Human-to-Human Transmission of Rare, Deadly Virus in Bolivia

A rare and deadly virus in Bolivia that causes symptoms similar to Ebola or Dengue can spread from person to person, researchers have discovered.

A rare and deadly virus in Bolivia that causes symptoms similar to Ebola or Dengue can spread from person to person, researchers have discovered.

Findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) last Nov. 16 by Bolivia’s health ministry, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) revealed that the Chapare virus can be transmitted from human to human, which may lead to potential outbreaks in the future.

Scientists believe that rodents carried the virus then may have passed it to humans.

“We now believe many bodily fluids can potentially carry the virus,” epidemiologist Caitlin Cossaboom with the CDCs Division of High Consequence Pathogen and Pathology.

Scientists also said that patients who contracted the virus suffered hemorrhagic fevers, vomiting, pain in the abdomen and behind the eyes, and skin rash.

Scientists said that the virus was first recorded in 2004 when a 22-year-old man died after suffering vomiting and bleeding in the Chapare region of Bolivia, 370 miles east of the capital city, La Paz.

Then in 2019, at least five people were infected in La Paz when two patients transmitted the virus to three medical workers. Later, three people died from the virus — one patient and two medical workers.

Scientists said investigation on the virus still needs to continue because much remains unknown, including the risks of a potential larger outbreak.

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