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Valencia virus (VARV)
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Group:

Group V (-)ssRNA

Order:

Mononegavirales

Family:

Filoviridae

Genus:

Lithovirus

Species:

Valencia lithovirus

     


Valencia virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus and a member of the filovirus family. It is a close relative of the lethal Marburg and Ebola viruses, sharing the classification of hemorrhagic fever and being indistinguishable from each other in the early stages of infection. As is traditional with virus classification, Valencia virus causes "Valencia Virus Disease," in humans and other closely related primates, namely orangutans and apes; however, the virus' natural reservoir mostly remains a mystery.


Much like its "relatives," Ebola and Marburg, Valencia is listed as a Risk Group 4 Pathogen by the World Health Organization due to its high mortality rate and extreme risk of infection.


Valencia virus disease

Valencia virus disease (VVD) is caused exclusively by the similarly named sole member of the lithovirus family. A viral hemorrhagic fever, most human outbreaks in recent history were caused by one single infected individual unwittingly spreading the highly contagious disease to others during the disease's infectious incubation period. Typically, the disease takes anywhere from 2–30 days to begin adversely affecting the victim. There are no symptoms during this period, but the disease is contagious from the period of transmission to long after death.


After infection, healthy humans have an approximately 95% mortality rate. Survivors are "broken," by the disease and become carriers for the virus.


Signs and Symptoms (post incubation)

  1. Generalization Phase: Day 1-2 after incubation period. Victim experiences severe "depersonalization," an effect caused by the virus attacking the brain. General loss of emotional response accompanied by severe lethargy. Intense abdominal pain will be apparent. Marked by "thousand yard stare," in which the victim stares aimlessly at nothing in particular for up to 32 hours, ignoring the need to eat or sleep. Can cause severe health problems due to malnourishment. Headaches and extreme twitching in the eyes may be present.
  2. Early Organ Phase: Day 3-5. Depersonalization reaches peak point as all sense of spacial awareness is lost. Victim begins to experience ceaseless diarrhea, vomiting, edema, exanthem, and dyspenea. Any and all bodily fluids may contain millions of virus particles per drop. Marked by incessant bleeding from the eyes, hair loss, and swelling of fingers and toes, and high fever. In some cases, ceaseless coughing causing airborne transmission and severe loss of skin and hair pigment may be present. Most infected die at this phase. Death usually occur on day 4.
  3. Late Organ Phase: Day 6+. Lining of the intestines begin to deteriorate and are purged from the body out of the anus, mouth, or eyes. Marked by extreme convulsions that may cause additional harm. At this stage, VVD has essentially eradicated the immune system and rendered any victims emotionless husks far beyond full recovery. Death may come at any moment.

Methods of contamination/prevention

A hemorrhagic fever, VVD is mostly commonly spread through contact of heavily fluids. However, unlike other filoviruses, Valencia is presumed to be able to linger outside of a living host for quite some time; long-dead bodies, tabletops, and all manner of surfaces touched by infected individuals can still spread the virus. Direct contact via touching or transmission of fluids through kissing or intercourse are also listed as possible causes of infection from human to human.


Similar to the Reston virus of the Ebola genus, Valencia is suspected to be airborne due to cases of individuals being infected after being coughed or closely breathed on.


Recorded outbreaks

Organized according to year, infected locations or "hot zones," CFR (case fatality rate/deaths to cases ratio) and cause.

  1. 1976; Muradnagar, India, eventually spread to Delhi; CFR 980/1113; direct contact and infection from unknown vector to human
  2. 1983; Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire); CFR 468/516; direct contact and infection from unknown vector to human
  3. 1992; Dehli, India and surrounding cities; CFR 803,462/934,874; survivor of 1976 outbreak's corpse discovered and handled poorly by officials
  4. 1997; Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Russia and several other cities; CFR 408,599/630,789; laboratory accident
  5. 2015; North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and countless undocumented cases throughout the planet; CFR 58,578,631/79,435,891; transport of infected primates from unknown source to primate research center in Seattle, Washington, eventual transmission to humans by accident

Possible natural reservoirs/vectors

The first documented case of VVD was in India, however, recent evidence suggest the virus has been plaguing humanity for up to hundreds of years. An unknown event during the Black Death outbreak of the middle ages is theorized to be a catalyst for the disease's spread to humans. Non-primate members of the animal kingdom (insects, arthropods, annelids) are not shown to be adversely affected by the disease, but the virus still lingers in their bodies once it comes in contact with them, marking them all possible candidates for the natural reservoir of VVD.


The CDC has expressed interest in expanding experimental trials to determine the true natural host of the Valencia virus. For the time being, cave-dwelling spiders, fruit bats, mosquitoes, fleas, and lions are considered high risk candidates.


The Center for Disease Control is currently compiling valuable information for public eyes. Please remain calm and avoid contact with any infected individuals.

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