An epidemic of Oroya fever in the Peruvian Andes

G. C. Gray, A. A. Johnson, S. A. Thornton, W. A. Smith, J. Knobloch, P. W. Kelley, L. Obregon Escudero, M. Arones Huayda, F. S. Wignall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Between February and October 1987, a febrile illness killed 14 persons and seriously affected at least 14 others in Shumpillan, a remote Peruvian mountain village of 353 people. The illness was characterized by fever, headache, chills, and pallor. The fatality rate of untreated cases was 88%. The patients, 71% of whom were male, were 1-75 years of age. Fatal illnesses progressed from lethargy to coma to death in 3-60 days. Patients treated empirically with chloramphenicol survived. Bartonella bacilliformis was isolated from the whole blood of 3 patients. A serologic study revealed a high prevalence of antibodies to B. bacilliformis in the villagers. It is concluded that the villagers suffered from an epidemic of Oroya fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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