Bolivian hemorrhagic fever

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Machupo virus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Family: Arenaviridae
Genus: Arenavirus

Machupo virus

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A96.1
ICD-9 078.7
DiseasesDB 31899
MeSH D006478

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as black typhus or Ordog Fever, is a hemorrhagic fever and zoonotic infectious disease originating in Bolivia after infection by Machupo virus.[1]

BHF was first identified in 1963 as an ambisense RNA virus of the Arenaviridae family,[2][3] by a research group led by Karl Johnson. The mortality rate is estimated at 5 to 30 percent. Due to its pathogenicity, Machupo virus requires Biosafety Level Four conditions, the highest level.[4]

In February and March 2007, some 20 suspected BHF cases (3 fatal) were reported to the El Servicio Departamental de Salud (SEDES) in Beni Department, Bolivia, and in February 2008, at least 200 suspected new cases (12 fatal) were reported to SEDES.[5] In November 2011, a SEDES expert involved in a serosurvey to determine the extent of Machupo virus infections in the Department after the discovery of a second confirmed case near the departmental capital of Trinidad in November, 2011, expressed concern about expansion of the virus' distribution outside the endemic zone in Mamoré and Iténez provinces.[6][7]



The vector is the vesper mouse Calomys callosus, a rodent indigenous to northern Bolivia. Infected animals are asymptomatic and shed the virus in excreta, thereby infecting humans. Evidence of person-to-person transmission of BHF exists but is believed to be rare.[8]


The infection has a slow onset with fever, malaise, headache and muscular pains. Petechiae (blood spots) on the upper body and bleeding from the nose and gums are observed when the disease progresses to the hemorrhagic phase, usually within seven days of onset.


Johnson, K. M., Wiebenga, N. H.@MacKenzie, R.B. Kuns,M.L.,T@uraso,N.M.,Shelo kov A, Webb, P. A., Justines, 0., and Beye, H. k., 1965. Virus isolations from human cases of hemorrhagic fever in Bolivia. Proc. Soc. Exper Biol. & Med., 118: 113-118


  1. ^ Public Health Agency of Canada: Machupo Virus Pathogen Safety Data Sheet,, Date Modified: 2011-02-18.
  2. ^ "Machupo". Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  3. ^ Webb PA, Johnson KM, Mackenzie RB, Kuns ML (July 1967). "Some characteristics of Machupo virus, causative agent of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 16 (4): 531–8. PMID 4378149. 
  4. ^ Center for Food Security & Public Health and Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics, Iowa State University: Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers Caused by Arenaviruses,, last updated: February 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Aguilar PV, Carmago W, Vargas J, Guevara C, Roca Y, Felices V, et al. Reemergence of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, 2007–2008 [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet] 2009 Sep. Available from Accessed 2 Dec 2011.
  6. ^ "Caso confirmado de fiebre hemorrágica alerta a autoridades benianas," Los,, 16/11/2011.
  7. ^ "SEDES movilizado para controlar brote de fiebre hemorrágica en Beni; También se Capacita a Los Comunarios y Estudiantes," Lost,, 30/11/2011.
  8. ^ Kilgore PE, Peters CJ, Mills JN, et al. (1995). "Prospects for the control of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever". Emerging Infect. Dis. 1 (3): 97–100. doi:10.3201/eid0103.950308. PMC 2626873. PMID 8903174.