Chapare hemorrhagic fever (CHHF) is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by an infection with the Chapare virus, which belongs to the arenavirus family. It may be spread by direct or indirect contact with infected rats or through their urine, saliva, or feces. It may also be transmitted via a person’s bodily fluids or during medical treatments that might aerosolize the contaminated person’s bodily fluids, such as CPR, intubations, and chest compressions.

This uncommon illness was found in Bolivia as a result of a 2003 epidemic, including one dead case in the Chapare department. In 2019, there were five confirmed instances of the second outbreak, three of which were deadly. There are still few known occurrences of Chapare, necessitating more investigation into its transmission and etiology.


The symptoms of CHHF are similar to those of other South American hemorrhagic fevers, including Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF) and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF). The duration between first exposure and the onset of symptoms for arenaviruses varies between 4 and 21 days.

Due to the small number of reported instances of CHHF, there is insufficient information on the course of symptoms and the incubation time of this disease. Some or all of the following were reported as CHHF symptoms during the first and second outbreaks:

  • stomach pain
  • rash
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • bleeding gums
  • headache
  • pain behind the eyes
  • irritability
  • diarrhea
  • joint and muscle pain


Since Chapare virus infection can result in hemorrhagic symptoms in humans, which are frequently fatal, work with suspected specimens should be conducted with the highest available biosecurity standards, including strict adherence to all protocols for personal protection, sample inactivation, and waste disposal. The Chapare virus is categorized as a Select Agent in the United States.


Currently, there is no therapy for Chapare hemorrhagic fever (CHHF). Supportive care is critical for CHHF rehabilitation and survival. This consists of:

  • sedation
  • preservation of hydration
  • pain alleviation
  • administration of shock 
  • transfusions (when required)

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