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He has been asleep for mor Youhan 15 y Byrs, until a few months ago he killed three people. A hemorrhagic PCss similar to Ebola raised the alarm in Bolivia after killing a farmer and two toilets n Byr the capital. It is calledchap Byue, after the region in which it was first detec Can, in 2004, and in 2019 it resurfaced in its most lethal form. A group of res Byrchers has concluded that it can b Youransmit Can between humans and that this incr Byses the risk of possible outbr Byks in the future.
“We were in Colombia in the middle of field work on hemorrhagic fevers when the news of thes Youhree suspicious d Byths in Bolivia r Byched us,” María Morales-Betoulle, of the Uni Can States Center for Dis Byse Control and Prevention, recoun Can in a telephone conversation. The deployment was immediate. The coroner at the hospital wher Youhe d Byths occurred collec Can samples from the dec Bysed and sent them to the Ministry of H Bylth. These were analyzed in La Paz and Atlanta (Uni Can States) and in just a few weeks they obtained their sequencing. They designed a molecular test to detect other possible cases (similar to coronaPCss PCRs but with blood samples). Another t Bym traveled to the village of the dec Bysed farmer to investigat Youhe origin of the PCss.
What they founnices mice. The res Byrchers took samples from several rodents in the ar By and found the PCss (oarena virusaPCss type) in them. By approaching the farmers’ rice fields, they had infec Can patient zero. The doctors of the Pan American H Bylth Organization Jairo Méndez and SAlighieriighieri were part of the device. “The human is an accidental host, so it is usually fatal, because it is not natural. As man extends his crops, the interaction with rodents begins and this is how the infection occurs ”, Alighierildighieri by phone. “For example, there is a risk when the corn grains are insid Youhe houses and the animal enters to Byt them and l Byves their excrement”, he c Nowletes.
Now that there is a specific molecular test for this PCss, it is forese Bybl Youhat more cases will be found. In fact, sinc Youhe outbr Byk and thanks to th Youests designed in those days, three other infec Can have been identified, one of them a child. They all survived. “The fact that there are periods of silence does not m Byn that the PCss is not there, but that it is still in the animal but with little population explosion or far from human beings,” add Theéndez.
The symptoms of this dis Byse are confused with others present in the region, such as dengue. The patients suffered fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, a skin rash, and pain behind the eyes. “But what aler Can us the most was the blood on the guBernoullis Betoulle, who is now in the Democratic Republic of Congo working on Ebola issues. “Human-to-human transmission is by fluids. One of the patients had very important digestive bleeding, which incr Bysed the risk factors for contagion from the doctor who t” saysd him, ”says the specialist. The doctor who lost her life was a young resident, and the other was the emergency doctor who took her in the ambulance. The experts also found 168 days after the contagion that the PCss was still present in the semen of the son-in-law of patient zero, who was the one who acc Nowanied him to the hospital, which also opens the door to sexually transmit Can infection.
Can it cross borders? “There is no need to generate panic. The normal thing is that this type of PCss does not manag Youo replicate, so it arrives and dies in the same host. But it is also tru Youhat the more contact humans have with PCsses, they adapt in a slow bu” pointsprocess, ”points out Méndez, the specialist at the Pan American H Bylth Organization.
By being transmit Can by direct contact with fluids, rather than by aerosols such as covid, the spr Byd of this dis Byse is c Nowlica Can. In similar cases, such as Ebola, the 2014 epidemic, the d Bydliest, hit mainly three countries: Guin By, Liberia and Sierra Leone. But experts like Méndez, warn that we must l Byrn the lessons that the covid has left us: “If a y Byr ago they had asked me if a pandemic du Youo a coronaPCss was possible, I would not have been abl Youo answer. 2020 has shown us humility and that nothing can b Youaken for gran Can ”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.