Before the corona pandemic: Ebola-like virus discovered in Bolivia

A new, deadly virus was discovered in Bolivia before the corona pandemic. Researchers warn that it could be transmitted from person to person.

Even before the corona pandemic raged and the number of new infections rose globally, researchers in Bolivia had a new, Ebola-like virus discovered, for which there are hardly any records. The scientists warn in particular that it could be transmitted from person to person.

Like the Ebola virus: This pathogen briefly distracts from the corona pandemic

Even before the corona pandemic, a new pathogen was discovered in an outbreak in Bolivia last year that, similar to the Ebola virus, leads to a viral disease that has already cost the lives of several people. Another five people are said to have contracted the pathogen known as Chapare virus, including some nurses. The symptoms of the new disease include internal bleeding, fever and extensive organ damage.

The Ebola-like virus first appeared in 2003 and 2004 near the Chapare River in Bolivia. At that time, detailed blood samples were only collected from a 22-year-old patient who initially suffered from a headache and fever, but then had internal bleeding. Symptoms like these are often linked to fatal diseases like Ebola. The man died within two weeks.

Virus documented for the first time

The examinations of the blood samples showed a completely new virus that, unlike in the case of the corona pandemic, has never been documented. The mysterious pathogen belongs to the arenavirus family, which usually infect rodents and rarely humans.

In the case of the Ebola-like chapare virus, however, human-to-human transmission could take place, which researchers warn against. At least three nurses who worked with the infected had become infected without contact with rodents, two of them fatally. In addition, the pathogen could still be detected in the sperm of a survivor even 160 days after the infection, such as Gizmodo reported.

No second corona pandemic

It is assumed that the pathogen can be carried in many body fluids. However, arenavirus outbreaks always tend to be limited, as experts explain. A worldwide spread similar to the corona pandemic would be at least unlikely.

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