A Fatal Ebola-like Virus Spotted Again in Bolivia

Ebola-like virus
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Public health investigators have confirmed a new Ebola-like virus that is highly contagious and can cause death. After reconstructing its pathway on how it emerged for the second time, it is now clear that it spread from patients to healthcare workers.

This rodent-linked Chapare virus is deadly and it killed most of the people during its first outbreak. However, health experts believe it is not a threat to US citizens. It is necessary for everyone who is planning to visit Bolivia to know about this viral emergence. Although there are lesser chances of him to contract it. Still, knowing the threat is necessary.

The virus was first time seen in 2004 at Chapare, an eastern province of Bolivia. It is located 370 miles from La Paz, which is the capital of Bolivia. With relevance to this site, it was named Chapare virus.  At first, some small viral clusters were identified but only one of them was infected.

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Despite sharing similarities with Ebola, it doesn’t belong to the same family as Ebola. This virus which is Ebola-like causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in its patient, causing his death.

Chapare virus shows up an as high fever, body pain, headache, abdominal distress, body rashes, and bleeding gums. If ignored, these symptoms become severe can cause a deadly hemorrhagic fever. This is a deadly condition which can lead to organ failure, bleeding, and death

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this Ebola-like virus, now identified as the Chapare virus. The patient only receives some IV fluids for maintaining fluids and basic medication.

During its second emergence, its first target was a 65 years old local farmer. Apparently, he was infected through the rodent droppings, according to health experts. The new report on this second emergence of the Chapare virus was presented during the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The second victim after this farmer patient was the young doctor who treated this farmer. This hospital was located in a village namely Caranavi. The doctor couldn’t survive and died in a few days. Next in line was a paramedic staff member who was with the doctor in the ambulance. This 48 years old staff worker performed CPR on the doctor which someone gave him the virus. The viral symptoms were reported after 16 days.

When this young doctor was brought to the La Paz hospital, a consultant gastroenterologist got in touch with her body for an endoscopy. This is a minimally invasive process to insert a camera for visualizing the GI tract. Unfortunately, the gastroenterologist also developed the symptoms within the next two weeks.

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All of these cases were connected. The only confirm evidence which connects them is that they were exposed to the body fluids of the infected person. The first patient who was the farmer and young doctor lost their lives to this Chapare virus. The paramedic worker and another patient somehow survived this pathogen.

For now, Bolivian researchers are trying to understand how this outbreak started. They are studying the genetic testing of rodents, for finding Chapare virus in them. According to them, this virus is suspected in the pygmy rats which are found all across the country and its neighborhood. The countries sharing a border with Bolivia are working on identifying any potential case of this Ebola-like virus, but there are no reports, for now.



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