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Yacuiba, Bolivia: Several cases of undiagnosed hemorrhagic illness with at least two deaths - leptospirosis confirmed

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  • Yacuiba, Bolivia: Several cases of undiagnosed hemorrhagic illness with at least two deaths - leptospirosis confirmed

    Published Date: 2015-12-18 18:00:27
    Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Undiagnosed hemorrhagic illness - Bolivia: (TR) RFI
    Archive Number: 20151218.3872776
    ************************************************** *************************
    A ProMED-mail post
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Date: Wed 16 Dec 2015
    Source: Opinion [in Spanish, trans. Mod.TY, edited]

    The Director of Departmental Health Services (SEDES), Paul Castellanos, on Wednesday [16 Dec 2015] said that the hospital in Yacuiba [Tarija department] is closed for 3 days due to a suspected, possible contagious disease brought in by a person who died in this facility.

    "We have information that a person died with symptoms of an infectious and contagious disease, so that we had to act quickly to avoid more spread. We are carrying out isolation measures necessary to avoid dissemination and to quickly identify the causes," he said.

    Castellanos indicated that a team of specialists from SEDES traveled to Yacuiba this Wednesday [16 Dec 2015] to set up an epidemiological barrier.

    "We do not wish to alarm the population, but one way or another we must take measures for isolation that are recommended to avoid possible spread of this [disease], until the disease is identified," he added.

    Castellanos also stated that in the next few hours a patient who has the same symptoms as the person who died will arrive at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Tarija city. "According to the information that they have given me, the patients have fever, have presented with hemorrhages over their entire bodies, like a purpuric syndrome, that leads one to suspect a contagious disease," he concluded.

    The patients are from a rural area in Yacuiba.

    Communicated by:

    [Until the etiological agent is identified, it is difficult to know if the disease seen in these 2 patients is infectious and transmissible or not. If it is caused by a hantavirus, the infection was acquired by contact with rodent reservoirs or their excreta. The numbers of cases of hantavirus infection in Tarija department have increased this year (2015). The previously reported 2015 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) that occurred in Tarija department were confirmed. As noted in the previous comments, earlier cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have been reported from tropical, lowland areas of Bolivia, including 7 cases in Tarija during 2014. The specific hantaviruses involved in these or previous cases for the last 2 years (2013, 2014) in Bolivia are not given.

    In the lowland Amazon Basin of Bolivia or the Chaco, the possible hantavirus and its rodent hosts that might be involved in these hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases, with their images, include:
    - Laguna Negra virus (_Calomys laucha_ and _C. callosus_;
    - Bermejo (Chaco rice rat _Oligoryzomys chacoensis_;
    - Oran (_O. longicaudatus_

    If the disease reported above was caused by an arenavirus, such as Machupo or Junin viruses, infection can be acquired from rodent reservoirs or by contact with bodily fluids, especially blood, from infected people. Machupo virus causes Bolivian hemorrhagic fever but has been reported mainly in Beni department. _Calomys callosus_ mice are the reservoir host of Machupo virus, an arenavirus that can cause persistent infections in the mice. An image of _C. callosus_, the large vesper mouse and reservoir host of Machupo virus can be accessed at

    ProMED will be interested in receiving information about any additional patients or results of laboratory tests, especially those identifying the etiology of the disease.

    Maps of Bolivia can be accessed at .... - Mod.TY]

  • #2
    Hantavirus suspected:


    • #3
      Leptospirosis confirmed: