Monday , November 29 2021

Hemorrhagic Fever: The new Animal Virus is transmitted between humans


A new and potentially deadly virus from rodents can spread from person to person. This is the conclusion reached by Caitlin Cossaboom, a team led by the US Agency for Disease Control, after investigating five cases of an unknown disease in Bolivia. As the group reported at its annual meeting of the American Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, three health professionals in the city of Caranavi were put on sick contact after two of them died. The Chapare virus can cause severe bleeding fever with symptoms similar to Ebola.

The pathogen has only appeared once so far. In an appearance in December 2003 and January 2004, experts identified the blood pathogen of a dead person. The virus belongs to the arenavirus family, a group of viruses that circulate in rodents and occasionally cause serious illness in humans – Lassa fever, for example, is similar to hantaviruses that also occur in Germany. Hitherto unknown arenaaviruses have repeatedly killed people, most recently in 2008 in Australia.

Those infected report fever, abdominal pain and headache, vomiting, rashes and bleeding in the mouth and nose. Experts suspect that the chapare virus is repeated in people but mostly misdiagnosed. Human transmission also occurs with other arena viruses, but experts see this primarily as a problem for hospitals, and not as a potential epidemic. The most common source of infection for all of these viruses is contact with those that transmit rodents, often indirectly through infectious urine or feces. That was probably the origin of the new Bolivian outbreak. Cossaboom’s team also isolated the genetic structure of the virus from samples of several rodents in the infected first person area.

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