CHHF virus has been successfully isolated from both blood and serum during the acute febrile phase of illness. Although not undertaken at the time of the initial cluster, virus can certainly be isolated from tissue obtained post-mortem if available. A subsequent complete genomic analysis of Chapare virus facilitated the development of specific molecular detection (RT-PCR) assays.
Serologic diagnosis of CHHF can be made by indirect immunofluorescent assay and ELISA. However, individuals from endemic areas who show fever, dizziness, and myalgia, accompanied by laboratory findings of low white blood cell and platelet counts and excess protein in the urine, should be suspected of having one of the South American hemorrhagic fever viruses. Clinical specimens should be tested using specific assays.