What is Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
Argentine hemorrhagic fever is caused by the arenavirus Junin and is a rodent-borne disease; meaning that the carrier of this disease is a corn mouse. Argentine hemorrhagic fever is endemic in humid pampas of Argentina; hence the name Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever. Argentine hemorrhagic fever has quite a high death rate, especially if the treatment is not sought in time. However, the occurrence of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever has been drastically decreased with the use of a live attenuated vaccine. Treatment of Argentine hemorrhagic fever comprises of transfusion of immune plasma in specific dosages of neutralizing antibodies given in the early stages of this disease.
What is the Cause of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
The cause of argentine hemorrhagic fever is Junin virus which is present in rodents.
The Story Behind The Name “Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever”
Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever was first reported in the area of O’Higgins in Argentina; hence its names which also include O’Higgins disease. Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever was also associated with fields which contain stubble, giving rise to another of its names, which is stubble disease.
How is Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever Transmitted?
Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever is transmitted via a rodent, which spreads this viral infection through its urine and saliva. Infection can also develop via inhalation of the infected particles and through contact of mucous membranes or skin. Argentine hemorrhagic fever is found commonly in individuals who work or live in rural areas. More than half of the people infected are males.
What are the Symptoms of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever is a severe disease from which a patient can recover or die in 1 to 2 weeks. The incubation period of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever is 10 to 12 days. The initial symptoms of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever include: fever, weakness, headaches, appetite loss and loss of will in the patient. All these symptoms escalate in a few days forcing the patient to take to bed. Patient experiences more severe symptoms such as vascular, hematological, renal and neurological changes which last around 3 weeks. This hemorrhagic and neurologic stage of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever consists of symptoms such as convulsions, confusion, hemorrhage or bleeding from the orifices of the body and coma.
What is the Mortality Rate of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever, if left untreated, can cause death in around 15 to 30% of the patients. The specific treatment of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever consists of plasma transfusion, which is very effective if started early.
What is the Treatment for Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
Specific treatment of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever consists of transfusion of immune plasma in specific dosages of neutralizing antibodies given in the prodromal stage of this disease. Other alternative treatments are also done, especially when Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever is not detected early or when there is lack of availability of immune plasma or lack of effective therapies in case of acutely sick patients in whom the Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever has accelerated to a neurologic-hemorrhagic phase. Immune plasma can be substituted with ribavirin for treating Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever. Monoclonal antibodies or immune immunoglobulin can also be considered for treating Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever. There are other latest treatment options which are being developed for systemic inflammatory syndromes that can also be considered in severe types of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever.
Supportive Treatment for Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever consists of intravenous fluids, management of the neurological symptoms, blood transfusion and treatment and prevention of other superimposed infections.
Is There Any Vaccine for Preventing Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever?
Yes, thanks to the use of a live attenuated vaccine, Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever can be prevented and the number of cases of this disease has reduced significantly since the use of the vaccine.