Ebola-like virus that can spread from human to human
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A rare Ebola-like illness that is believed to have first originated in rural Bolivia in 2004 can spread through human-to-human transmission, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discovered.
- The biggest outbreak of the ‘Chapare virus’ was reported in 2019.
- The Chapare hemorrhagic fever (CHHF) is caused by the same arenavirus family that is responsible for illnesses such as the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
- 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 virus, which is named Chapare after the province in which it was first observed, 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 healthcare workers are at higher risk of contracting the illness and must thus be extremely cautious while dealing with patients to avoid contact with items that could be contaminated with their blood, urine, saliva or semen.
- The disease could also be sexually transmitted.
- The rodent species, in which Chapare viral RNA was identified, is commonly known as the pigmy rat and is found across Bolivia and in several of its neighbouring countries.
Chapare hemorrhagic fever treatment
Since there are no specific drugs to treat the disease, patients generally receive supportive care such as intravenous fluids.
- The 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.