Chapare Virus: Human to Human Transmission discovered in Bolivia

The researchers from the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered that the Chapare Virus is capable of human to human transmission. Bolivia is currently facing an outbreak of the virus. Just like the Ebola virus, the Chapare virus is capable of causing haemorrhagic fever.

What is Chapare Virus?

  • The Chapare virus was discovered first in 2004 in Bolivia. The virus then disappeared the same year (2004). However, in 2019, at least five people were again infected with Chapare virus. During the 2019 outbreak, the virus was found in samples of bodily fluids.
  • The United States CDC had developed a RT-PCR test to diagnose Chapare virus in future.
  • In the previous outbreaks there were no signs of human to human transmission. It is the recent 2020 outbreak that has shown that human to human transmission is possible in Chapare virus.
  • Chapare virus was also detected in rodents around the home of the infected person.
  • After the persons infected with Chapare virus died, the virus stayed alive for 24 hours in their bodily fluids.

Why the name Chapare?

Chapare is the region in La Paz (capital of Bolivia). A small outbreak of the virus occurred in the region for the first time and hence the name Chapare virus.

COVID-19: New Trend for Virus names

While naming the Corona Virus, the World Health Organisation made sure the name does not refer to Wuhan of China. The COVID-19 pandemic first began in Wuhan province of China. Usually a new virus is named after regions (like that of Chapare virus) or communities or animals (swine flu) from where the outbreak began. Such naming would cause stigmatization (meaning disgraced) of people, region or animals. In order to avoid this, WHO set a new guideline in 2015.

In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for Corona, ‘VI’ stands for virus and ‘D’ stands for Disease. 19 stands for the year 2019, as the outbreak began in 2019.


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