An emerging Ebola-like virus can spread among humans in Bolivia, scientists discover


Madre de Dios River in Bolivia

Madre de Dios River in Bolivia
Photo: LIDIA PEDRO / AFP (Getty Images)

Scientists are urging caution on a mysterious, Ebola-like viral disease that spread from one person to another during a small outbreak in Bolivia last year. Disease caused by chaper virus killed three people Thought at least five got sick During the outbreak, including three health workers who came in contact with patients. Symptoms include internal bleeding, fever and extensive organ damage.

Have a virus Designated Following the location where the first known outbreak of the disease occurred in late 2003 near the Chaper River in Bolivia. Although many were suspected of having the disease in 2003 and 2004, detailed information and blood samples were collected from only one patient at the time: A 22-year-old tailor and farmer who lives in a rural village of Samjabati.

The man initially developed a headache and fever, which progressed to joint pain, vomiting, And internal bleeding, also known as hemorrhage. This collection of symptoms is known as hemorrhagic fever. And is a familiar, often fatal outcome of other very dangerous but usually rare viral diseases such as Ebola. Within two weeks, the man died.

Doctors were able to study hiBlood and a virus have never been isolated before being documented, while dengue is common in areas such as to ward off other potential diseases. The mystery virus was discovered to be a member of the arenavirus family, a Cluster of viruses It usually infects rodents and sometimes humans. Its relatives include the most famous Lassa virus and other viruses, previously found in South America, such as the Machupo virus in Bolivia and the Junin virus in Argentina. Many of these viruses can cause hemorrhagic fever in people.

In 2019, the chapery virus made a reappearance in Bolivia, the first time a farm working man was found who developed hemorrhagic fever and eventually died. After it became clear that the patient’s alarming symptoms were not due to dengue or more respiratory illnesses, health officials began a detailed investigation, eventually confirming the help of the US CDC experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The worker came with the chaper virus.

majority of arenaviruses Those who make people sick are known to spread from rodents to people. Typically, this happens when rodents dried in aerosols breathe with droplets contaminated with urine or virus or otherwise come into direct contact with rodents. During this latest outbreak, health officials found viral marks of chatter near rodents where the farmer worked, according to this The research Presented this week in virtual Annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

But at least three health care workers, who interacted with infected patients – a medical resident, an ambulance worker, and a gastroenterologist – also developed the disease, with two eventually dying. Health officials believe that the virus spread from one person to another in these other cases. Another topic found that viral scars can be found in the semen of a person who lived more than 160 days after infection, something that has also been documented for hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola.

“We now believe that many bodily fluids can potentially carry the virus,” said Caitlin Kosboom, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s high-result pathogens and pathology department Statement Issued by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The ongoing epidemic and how it started, It makes sense to be concerned about this news. But while it is not completely inappropriate, it should be noted that most human outbreaks should be limited, as it was one. And their main route of transmission is still mainly from rodents to people. Even if the virus can spread from one person to another, it appears to be through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or saliva, which limits its capacity for proliferation, as in It performs its lethality. Contrasts such as Kovid-19, which is a respiratory disease that spreads easily through the respiratory system – simply breathing in the same air as an infected person –And one can be dispatched even before someone becomes visually ill.

That said, it is certainly important for epidemiologists and other scientists to keep a close eye on potential threats such as the chaper virus, especially in areas of the world where health care resources are limited, Increasing Potential risk of transmission to health care workers. Even viruses that actually spread only through direct contact with bodily fluids can explode. Major outbreak Under the right circumstances, such as the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, around 30,000 people were infected and over 11,000 died. Lassa virus is related to chaperone Infects regularly Over 300,000 people are killed each year in areas of Africa where it is found, with an estimated 5,000 per year.

For now, scientists plan to learn as much as possible about the chaper virus from these latest cases, including its potential rodent hosts where it may have originated., And whether it has remained ignorant of doctors in the country. After the 2019 outbreak, doctors have documented three other possible cases, although all The patients Survived.

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