20 - 10/97 - Hantavirus State of alert in Peru

Due to an outbreak of HANTAVIRUS in Chile the local authorities in Peru are taking preventative measures with ships that have previously called in Chile.

A) All ships arriving at Callao from Chilean ports must anchor in the bay before berthing. A doctor and a technician from Environmental Health will come aboard to carry out sanitary inspection.

B) In the event that HANTAVIRUS is detected the ship will be moved to a quarantine zone

C) In the event that HANTAVIRUS is not detected on board the ship will be able to proceed as normal.

HANTAVIRUS is highly mortal and without an unknown treatment could spread explosively throughout the American continent according to experts.

The virus is transmitted by rodents and in some cases between people. Cases have been detected in Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Recent deaths in Peru from HANTAVIRUS have led the Peruvian authorities to decree a state of alert.

This illness has been known in the East since the end of the last century, but in the West was identified in the fifties. It bears the name because the virus became known during the Korean war in the River Hantang. This illness has a mortality rate of 50% - 60%, it can kill a person within a week. Two sicknesses can occur in the human being:

Lung syndrome - with fever and breathing difficulties

Kidney syndrome - fever and kidney failure

Source of Information Overseas Service Agency Lima (See Yvonne Vail F6)

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