OUTBREAK OF YELLOW FEVER IN BRAZILJenny Abercrombie
IN THE NEWS
OUTBREAK OF YELLOW FEVER IN BRAZIL
The CDC and ECDC (European Center for Disease Control) have posted warnings for people traveling to several states in Brazil, to be aware of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in places where it is not typically seen, including large cities and popular tourist spots. As of March 7, 2018, the Brazil Ministry of Health reported 123 confirmed new cases with 23 deaths in the past week, with a total of 864 confirmed cases and 260 deaths since July 1, 2017. For the same time period, there have been 3234 suspected cases. The states involved include Bahia, Sao Paulo, Rio Janeiro and Espirito Santo States. These very populated states do not usually have many cases of Yellow Fever and therefore do not have much of the population in these states previously vaccinated. A vaccination program for Brazil citizens of these states has begun approximately half of the affected population has received vaccine.
According to the CDC, there have been no cases of returning travelers from Brazil to the United States being infected. However, the ECDC has reported that five (5) travelers returning to Europe from Brazil have been infected from between January1 and March 9. 2018. One person, in Switzerland, died from it. The ECDC, in trying to put it into context, also stated that there were only six (6) travel-related cases the entire time between 1999 and 2016.
The United States and its population need to be very aware since Yellow Fever is spread, in urban areas, by the same mosquito, the Aedes Aegypti, as last year’s outbreak of ZIKA, and previous as well as ongoing cases of Dengue and West Nile. It is a risk to our Territories in tropical areas as well as the Southern parts of the US where the A. Aegypti lives for at least part of the year.
The CDC and ECDC are encouraging travelers to Brazil (or those that live there) be vaccinated at least 10 days before they travel to one of the affected areas in Brazil and to prevent mosquito bites while there. The CDC recommends that people who aren’t able to get the yellow fever vaccine or shouldn’t get it (per recommendation), avoid travel to areas in Brazil where Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended.
For more specific information see FAQs: https://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/qa/index.html and
Maps of Yellow Fever Recommended Vaccination Areas: https://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/maps/index.html