With the coronavirus reaching a new wave in several countries, the news released yesterday (16) by American and Bolivian scientists could not be more worrying: the first human-to-human transmission of the Chapare virus, a rare microorganism that can lead to cancer, was confirmed in Bolivia. death.
The virus, which was originally transmitted to humans by a type of mouse, was identified in 2004 in the Bolivian province of Chapare. Scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bolivia’s National Center for Tropical Diseases confirm that human-to-human transmission occurred in La Paz last year: of the five infected, three died.
According to CDC scientists, the “new” virus is of the arenavirus family of viruses, capable of causing hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Dengue fever. The transmission of this type of organism usually occurs through direct contact of people with infected rodents or indirectly through the urine or feces of the sick rodent.
What is known so far about the Chapare virus
Little is known about Chapare, other than that it causes symptoms similar to those of dengue and Ebola, culminating in hemorrhagic fever, a group of usually severe and potentially fatal manifestations. According to the work released during a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, those infected in 2019 had, in addition to fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding gums, skin rashes and pain behind the eyes.
Dangers of a new pandemic
In 2019, the two patients infected with Chapare transmitted the virus to three Colombian doctors — two of them died, as did one of the patients. This fact led researchers to claim that the transmission must have occurred through bodily fluids.
In the event of a pandemic, viruses carried by bodily fluids are often easier to control than those carried by air, such as the new coronavirus. However, that does not mean they are not dangerous, as scientists warn.