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The World in Medicine
May 21, 2008

New Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

JAMA. 2008;299(19):2267. doi:10.1001/jama.299.19.2267-a

A team of Bolivian health authorities, scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and US Navy health experts based in Peru has identified a previously unrecognized arenavirus as the cause of a deadly hemorrhagic fever that emerged in a remote area of Bolivia (Delgado S et al. PLoS Pathog. 2008;4[4]:e10000047).

Serum samples were available from 1 patient, a 22-year-old farmer and tailor, who was among a small cluster of hemorrhagic fever cases that occurred in a rural area near the Chapare River in December 2003 and January 2004. This patient's course of illness rapidly progressed to shock, bleeding, and death within 2 weeks after symptom onset.