Chapare Virus, another deadly virus 


After the Covid 19 pandemic, the world is seen more aware of the potentially deadly virus that transmits from human to human. The newest in the list of deadly virus is one from Bolivia – the Chapare virus.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the virus could spread through human to human contact. looks at the virus closely

What is Chapare virus?

The deadly virus was first traced in 2004 in Chapare province of Bolivia. The virus belongs to Arenaviridae family. The virus belonging to this family usually spreads to humans through direct contact with infected rodents or indirectly through contact with the urine or faeces or an infected rodent.  Chapare belongs to the New World complex of Arenaviridae family because it originated in Bolivia. The virus can cause hemorrhagic fever.


The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported only two recorded outbreaks of the virus. The first was in 2003 in Chapare Province of Bolivia. At that time, the virus had claimed one life. Caranavi Province of Bolivia reported the second outbreak in 2019 ( Three deaths). And in 2019, three healthcare workers succumbed to the virus, which has raised an alarm.

Chapare virus and Transmission

The exact types of rodents that spread the virus are yet to be known. The virus is known to transmit through direct or indirect contact with the saliva, urine or faeces of infected rodents. As such, the transmission can be through bites, scratches, bites, inhalation if it aerosolized or ingestion of contaminated food and water.

The infected person can then transmit the virus to others through contact as in the case of Covid 19.


Symptoms of Chapare virus similar to other South American hemorrhagic fevers like the BHF. Information regarding the symptoms is rare as there has been only a fewer cases. It is believed that the incubation period of Chapare virus is between four to 21 days. This means that symptoms could usually begin to appear in four to 21 days after exposure. Some symptoms include fever, headache, bleeding gums, pain behind eyes, Joint and muscle pain, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and skin rash.


No treatment protocol available. However, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend supportive therapy. This includes fever management, sedation, hydration, pain relief and management of shock via. It also recommends fluid resuscitation and blood transfusions if needed.


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