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Scientists indicate circulation of the mayaro virus among humans in Roraima

Scientists confirmed the circulation of mayaro virus (MAYV) among humans in the state of Roraima .

The research was carried out by the Unicamp Biology Institute, in partnership with other research institutions in Brazil and abroad, and published by the magazine Emerging Infectious Diseasespublication of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

O mayaro virus It is considered endemic to Central and South America, and is also often overlooked. The pathogen was first identified on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1950s.

Cause of symptoms similar to dengue fever and chikungunya fever clinical diagnosis of mayaro virus can be a difficult task.

Like the other two diseases, MAYV is an arbovirus, that is, it is transmitted by a wild mosquito – the Haemagogus janthinomys the same one that transmits yellow fever.

The discovery of the circulation of the virus among humans was made by biologist Julia Forato, a master's student at Unicamp, who analyzed serum samples collected by the Central Public Health Laboratory of Roraima from patients who were febrile, between 2020 and 2021. During this period, the region faced a dengue epidemic shortly after an outbreak of chikungunya fever.

The researcher found the presence of MAYV in 3.4% of the people tested.

According to Forato, a worrying fact from his research is that some of the infected people did not report any activity in forest areas, indicating the possibility that the virus may have circulated in urban areas of Roraima.

The virus was identified in practically the entire state, including city areas, not just in rural or forest areas. “As people have not had contact with this virus, they are more susceptible to having an infection,” explained Forato.

What is mayaro virus?

O MAYV is an arbovirus — a virus transmitted by wild mosquitoes — identified mainly in forested or rural areas of Central and South America.

In Brazil, detection of the virus historically occurs in states in the North, such as Acre, Pará and Amazonas.

Mayaro virus infection in humans causes an acute febrile illness, with symptoms similar to dengue and chikungunya.

What are the symptoms of the mayaro virus?

The main symptoms of the mayaro virus are body aches, fatigue, arthralgia, joint pain and swelling.

Due to the similarities with other febrile illnesses, such as dengue and chikungunya, the clinical diagnosis of MAYV is often more difficult.

The main difference between mayaro and dengue is the greater likelihood of arthralgia and chronic arthritis, a condition in which pain and swelling in the joints lasts and becomes disabling — one of the similarities with chikungunya fever.

How is the mayaro virus transmitted?

MAYV is transmitted by wild mosquitoes Haemagogus janthinomysthe same one that transmits yellow fever.

In the forest, the mosquito usually infects vertebrates that inhabit the treetops, such as primates, birds and rodents, which serve as a reservoir for the virus.

In the bodies of these animals, mayaro replicates and can infect new mosquitoes, which continue to spread the virus to other wild animals or humans.

Although there are no records of mayaro virus transmission in Brazil by urban mosquitoes, such as Aedes aegyptilaboratory tests have already demonstrated the ability of this species to transmit MAYV.

However, the researchers pointed out that the experience does not confirm the possibility of transmission through Aedes aegypti outside the laboratory.

Source: CNN Brasil

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