Orthohantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Santa Cruz and Tarija, Bolivia, 2018

Juan Pablo Escalera-Antezana, Roberto Torrez-Fernandez, Dagner Montalvan-Plata, Claudia Marcela Montenegro-Narváez, Jorge Luis Aviles-Sarmiento, Lucia Elena Alvarado-Arnez, D. Katterine Bonilla-Aldana, Alfonso J. Rodríguez-Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Orthohantaviruses are still a significant public health threat in endemic countries, with high case fatality rates (CFR). In Bolivia, the reporting of small outbreaks occurred until 2012. The findings of 40 laboratory-confirmed cases diagnosed in two departments are reported herein. Methods: This was an observational, retrospective and cross-sectional study. Data on laboratory-confirmed cases in 2018 were collected from the hospitals and departmental health services (SEDES) of Santa Cruz and Tarija. An ELISA was used for the detection of IgM antibody to hantavirus in the patient blood samples. Results: Forty patients were IgM-positive. The median age of the patients was 24 years (interquartile range 19–41 years) and 72.5% were male. All patients were hospitalized; 57.5% were admitted to the intensive care unit and had cardiopulmonary compromise, with 83% of these presenting acute respiratory distress syndrome and 89.5% of these requiring mechanical ventilation. Six patients died (CFR 15%). Patients <15 or >60 years old were more prone to die (odds ratio 10.33, 95% confidence interval 1.411–75.694), as were those with comorbidities (odds ratio 16.5, 95% confidence interval 1.207–225.540). Conclusions: Orthohantavirus infections were associated with a high CFR. These cases occurred in areas with eco-epidemiological conditions facilitating viral transmission, including the presence of rodents, as well as the risk of spillover to humans due to social, environmental, and occupational factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StateIndexed - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s)


  • Bolivia
  • Epidemiology
  • New World
  • Orthohantavirus
  • Pulmonary syndrome


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