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Chapare Virus

Chapare Virus

Context:

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discovered that 'Chapare Virus' can be spread through the human-human transmission.

Background:

  • The biggest outbreak of the ‘Chapare virus’ was reported in 2019, when three healthcare workers contracted the illness from two patients in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
  • The virus is named Chapare after the province in which it was first observed over a decade ago.

Chapare Virus:

  • The Chapare hemorrhagic fever (CHHF) is caused by the same arenavirus family that is responsible for illnesses such as the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
  • It is a rare Ebola-like illness that is believed to have first originated in rural Bolivia in 2004.
  • The arenaviruses like the Chapare virus are generally carried by rats and can be transmitted through direct contact with the infected rodent, its urine, and droppings, or through contact with an infected person.
  • The disease is also known to be most commonly transmitted in more tropical regions, particularly in certain parts of South America where the small-eared pigmy rice rat is commonly found.

Implications of Chapare Virus:

  • It causes a hemorrhagic fever much like Ebola along with abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding gums, skin rash, and pain behind the eyes.
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers are a severe and life-threatening kind of illness that can affect multiple organs and damage the walls of blood vessels.
  • The scientists have pointed out that the Chapare virus is much more difficult to catch than the coronavirus as it is not transmissible via the respiratory route.

Discovery of Chapare Virus by CDC:

  • The researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that by examining the 2019 outbreak in Bolivia, they had found the virus can spread from person to person, particularly in healthcare settings.
  • The healthcare workers must be extremely cautious while dealing with patients to avoid contact with items that could be contaminated with their blood, urine, saliva, or semen.
  • The researchers also found fragments of genetic entities known as RNA, associated with Chapare, in the semen of one survivor 168 days after he was infected.

Treatment of Chapare Virus:

  • There are no specific drugs to treat the disease but patients generally receive supportive care such as intravenous fluids.
  • The CDC website lists maintenance of hydration, management of shock through fluid resuscitation, sedation, pain relief, and transfusions as the supportive therapy that can be administered on patients suffering from CHHF.

Source: Indian Express