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A team of disease hunters has announced the discovery of a deadly new virus, found in a remote village in South America. Experts say the virus – named Chapare – is probably limited to a small swathe of Bolivia, but urbanisation and climate change could expand its range.
Further tests confirmed that this Chapare virus was a new beast, part of a deadly family called arenaviruses. In West Africa, the related Lassa virus infects about 300,000 to 500,000 each year, killing 5000, according to the World Health Organization. The South American forms are rarer, but far deadlier.