At a time when countries across the globe are struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that a deadly virus, which causes haemorrhagic fever like Ebola, can now also be transmitted through people.
After the CDC’s announcement, sciencetimes.com quoted experts as saying that even in case of an outbreak, Chapare was unlikely to cause a pandemic on the scale of Covid-19. However, it also warned there were reasons to be alarmed about a potential Chapare outbreak.
Here’s all you need to know about the Chapare haemorrhagic fever:
1. The Chapare virus was first discovered in 2004 in the Bolivian province of Chapare, from where it gets its name. Though it disappeared in 2004, an outbreak last year infected at least five people.
2. Some symptoms of Chapare are fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding gums, skin rash and pain. Though the virus can be transmitted through bodily fluids and even kill infected people, sciencetimes.com reported that no active cases have been recorded this year.
3. In the 2019 outbreak, three out of the five people infected were health workers of whom two died, sciencetimes.com further said.
4. The first sign of last year’s outbreak was found in the sample of bodily fluids initially believed by doctors to be dengue. Further tests, however, did not show any signs of dengue. Subsequently, tests were conducted for two other deadly haemorrhagic virus-yellow fever and Machupo. The results, however, were once again negative.
5. The virus was finally identified as the Chapare after the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), which was in partnership with CDC, gave it a sample. CDC also developed an RT-PCR test to diagnose the virus in the future.
6. It was this outbreak that showed the virus could spread from person-to-person. Additionally, experts say the virus is present in the semen of a survivor for a duration of 24 weeks or 168 days after getting infected.
7. Chapare virus was also detected in rodents around the home of the first infected person. Experts, however, noted this doesn’t prove that rodents were the source of the outbreak.