Because infection with Chapare virus infection can produce hemorrhagic symptoms in humans, often with a fatal outcome, work with suspected samples should be conducted using the highest biosecurity standards available (CDC advises a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory), strictly following all protocols for personal protection, sample inactivation and waste disposal. In the United States, Chapare virus is classified as a Select Agent.
CHHF virus was successfully isolated from both blood and serum during the acute febrile phase of illness in the first confirmed case in Bolivia in 2003. Subsequent complete genomic analysis of Chapare virus facilitated the development of specific molecular detection assays, including real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). Like other related arenaviruses, Chapare virus may be detectable in body fluids (serum, blood, semen, urine, respiratory secretions) of survivors following resolution of symptoms. These should be monitored prior to patient release.
Individuals from endemic areas and/or with compatible symptoms should be considered suspected cases and tested for Chapare virus using specific molecular detection assays that identify the virus. Depending on the region and clinical epidemiological picture of the patient, differential diagnoses may include Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (Machupo virus) or other South American New World arenaviruses, dengue, leptospirosis, yellow fever, hantavirus, and others. Serological assays specific for Chapare are not yet available.