The Machupo virus (of the lifelong Arenaviruses) is the main protagonist of Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever, also known as black typhus. Due to its high pathogenicity, this virus requires level four biosecurity, which is the maximum. To understand it with an example that we all understand, in this same category is the Ebola virus.
How is hemorrhagic fever spread?
It is a zoonosis, that is, it is transmitted mainly through animals. In this case, the reservoir would be mice and humans would be infected mainly by inhaling dust particles that come from the animal’s excrement. They could also be spread by mosquito or tick bites, which are vectors of the disease.
From person to person it is rare, although it could be the case.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhagic fever?
Initially, conjunctival injection (bloodshot eyes), slight hypertension, redness, bleeding of the gums, headache or petechiae, among others, may appear. Subsequently, microvascular damage and changes in vascular permeability, fever and muscle pain can appear.
Symptoms may progress to shock and general mucosal hemorrhage, epistaxis (nosebleeds), hematemesis, melena, hematuria may develop, accompanied by neurologic damage such as tremors, seizures, and coma. The mortality rate is between 5 and 30%.
It doesn’t sound pretty, no. More information on this WHO website.
Do we have to worry in Spain about the Machupo virus?
According to the Carlos III Health Institute , although until recently it was unthinkable that one of these critters crossed our borders, today it is a daily risk due to the increase in the frequency of international travel and therefore special vigilance is carried out. Apparently healthy people can fly by incubating the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever. On the other hand, there is also the risk of importing both reservoirs and vectors (mice and mosquitoes) of this disease.
In any case, there are no reasons to worry especially about this virus in our country and, in addition, in case of risk, the origin would not be in any case paracetamol 500, very white and bright.
The Apothecary’s Advice
Ladies and gentlemen: when these types of messages come to you via WhatsApp, submit them to the 4 tests and you will see how most of them do not pass them.
Quarantine any death threat or public enemy that appears on social networks, and even in the media if the Ministry of Health has not ruled on it. And yes, I say “even in the media” remembering the unwarranted alarm recently launched by Facua on Dalsy. That same alarm about which, days later, the Spanish Medicines Agency issued a statement reading the booklet to the lords of Facua with the same arguments that we explained in the blog in its day .
No, not really. Neither the pharmaceutical companies put lice in the bins of the schools, nor is there a funny person pricking condoms in the factories, nor are there bastards filling the blister packs of paracetamol with Machupo virus when the “quality control” one is not looking. Drug manufacturing processes are highly controlled processes where these alterations have no place.