LA PAZ, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia's health ministry on Wednesday said the death of two people was caused by Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, also known as black typhus.
The infectious disease is caused by Machupo virus (MACV), an arenavirus transmitted to humans through rodents.
Tests by the state-run National Institute of Health Laboratories, the National Center of Tropical Diseases and the Atlanta, Georgia-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the virus transmitted was a MACV.
"We have the laboratory results that back up this analysis and allow us to reach that conclusion," Health Minister Gabriela Montano said at a press conference.
According to Montano, the initial patient was identified as a resident of Caranavi, a town in northern La Paz.
After the first case, an internist and two other physicians in the city were infected. Both the patient zero and the internist died.
Two doctors infected remain hospitalized in the department of La Paz.
Two other possible cases of infection are under observation.
"In clinical terms, the symptoms presented by the patients is compatible with arenavirus. The main symptoms are fever, muscle ache, abdominal pain, and headache," Montano said.
The patients appear to be recovering favorably, according to Montano.