Risk of Exposure
Though the rodent reservoir of Chapare virus is unknown, similar arenaviruses are typically transmitted to humans from infected rodents. Potential for initial infection depends on the habits of both humans and rodents. For example, infected rodents in field habitats are linked to infections in agricultural workers. If infected rodent species’ habitats include human homes or buildings, infection can also occur in domestic settings. There is also potential for laboratory or healthcare worker infections.
CHHF may also cause secondary person-to-person and nosocomial (healthcare setting) transmission. This may occur in a variety of ways. Person-to-person transmission is associated with direct contact with the blood or other body fluids (e.g saliva, urine, semen, respiratory secretions) of infected individuals. Contact with objects contaminated with these blood or body fluids, such as medical equipment, is also associated with transmission. In these situations, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection procedures (together called barrier nursing) help prevent further spread of illness.
Geographically, the only documented outbreaks of CHHF to date have occurred in the Cochabamba and Caranavi regions of Bolivia. Related arenaviruses that have been documented to cause disease in humans have been found elsewhere in South America.