Rocio Virus

Rocio Image

“Come to Brazil and let me samba in your brain.” - Rocio


Rocio virus is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus that has so far only been identified in Brazil. Rocio virus is a member of the Flaviviridae viral family, which includes other viruses such as Japanese encephalitis virus, Yellow fever virus and West Nile virus. Morphologically the Rocio virus is icosahedral and enveloped.


Rocio virus is extremely powerful. Like other Flaviviruses it causes encephalitis and it has a 5 – 25% case fatality. Additionally, it was the virus behind a huge epidemic of encephalitis in the state of Sao Paulo Brazil in the 1970s, and it is a bio-safety level 3 virus.


Attacks: Rocio virus can be transmitted to humans via two kinds of mosquito vectors, Psorophora ferox and Aedes scapularis. The mosquitos transfer the virus from wild birds, which are the virus’ natural hosts. Rocio virus tends to infect males of working age in rural Brazil in highest numbers but the most severe cases of Rocio virus infection occur in children and elderly patients.

Outcome: The initial symptoms of a Rocio virus infection include headaches, vomiting, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis and abdominal distention. Central nervous system symptoms including severe encephalitis may develop later. Infection with Rocio virus can be fatal and 20% of survivors experience permanent neurological damage.
Speed: Rocio virus has an incubation period of 7-15 days in humans. Death can occur within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.


Vaccine: There is no vaccine.

Behavioral: Avoid contact with mosquitoes in rural Brazil during the months March, April and May. This can include not traveling into this region during these months, or utilizing insect repellent such as DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, utilizing screens in houses and other buildings, draining standing water and being aware of peak mosquito hours.

Treatment: Standard treatment for other encephalitic viruses is usually administered to those infected with Rocio virus. This treatment includes antivirals, steroids, acetaminophen, fluids and anticonvulsive medications.

Game Action:

Penalty: On your vacation to rural Brazil you decide not to put on DEET because you are already taking anti-malarial medication. Unfortunately you’ve just been bitten by a mosquito transmitting Rocio virus. Go back 7 places while the virus incubates in your body.