Thursday, April 24, 2008

New kind of killer virus discovered in Bolivia

A team of disease hunters has announced the discovery of a deadly new virus, found in a remote village in South America. Experts say the virus – named Chapare – is probably limited to a small swathe of Bolivia, but urbanisation and climate change could expand its range.

"These pathogens will markedly increase the risk of outbreaks with significant loss of human life," says Stefan Kunz, a virologist at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, who was not part of the study.

Here is the link to the original report: Virus

After finding the story I decided to do some searching for additional information, here is what I found:

Chapare Virus, a Newly Discovered Arenavirus Isolated from a Fatal Hemorrhagic Fever Case in Bolivia

A small focus of hemorrhagic fever (HF) cases occurred near Cochabamba, Bolivia, in December 2003 and January 2004. Specimens were available from only one fatal case, which had a clinical course that included fever, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, and vomiting with subsequent deterioration and multiple hemorrhagic signs. A non-cytopathic virus was isolated from two of the patient serum samples, and identified as an arenavirus by IFA staining with a rabbit polyvalent antiserum raised against South American arenaviruses known to be associated with HF (Guanarito, Machupo, and Sabiá). RT-PCR analysis and subsequent analysis of the complete virus S and L RNA segment sequences identified the virus as a member of the New World Clade B arenaviruses, which includes all the pathogenic South American arenaviruses. The virus was shown to be most closely related to Sabiá virus, but with 26% and 30% nucleotide difference in the S and L segments, and 26%, 28%, 15% and 22% amino acid differences for the L, Z, N, and GP proteins, respectively, indicating the virus represents a newly discovered arenavirus, for which we propose the name Chapare virus. In conclusion, two different arenaviruses, Machupo and Chapare, can be associated with severe HF cases in Bolivia.

The rest of the report is posted at this link: Chapare

Chapare virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.
Source: Wikipedia

Chapare virus, a newly discovered arenavirus

authorities, U.S. Navy health experts based in Lima, Peru, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized "Chapare arenavirus," a previously unrecognized arenavirus, discovered in serum samples from a patient in rural Bolivia who eventually died of the infection.

The rest of the report can be found at: virus

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:56 PM   2 comments links to this post


At 10:28 AM, Blogger The Neither Party said...

One case; 5 years ago; results in a new strain of disease named and announced last week.
Big whoopie! (As in so what--what difference does it make, except to make it more scary for the easily-influenced to visit Bolivia?)

Big scare story --"NEW" when in fact the last and only known instance happened 5 years ago. "KILLER VIRUS" --another scare term which in my opinion is hardly warranted to describe one death.

When so many real problems need to be addressed in Bolivia, why was it felt important to spread this information as 'news'?

Just curious,,,John

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Trevor Hammack said...

Thanks for visiting the Worldview blog and for taking the time to leave a comment. I posted the story because it was being reported on a number of news sites. In fact the original story I quoted from and supplied a link for was published 18 April 2008.
It was being reported as news and I pointed people to the information. On the Worldview blog I rarely post my opinion or comments, I point people to what is going on in the world. I try to find information as quickly as I can and if possible beat the mainstream media to the story. I hope that makes sense and I hope this story will not discourage you from visiting the blog on a regular basis. You can always contact me at

Have a great day


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