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26 Feb 2020 | 03:05 PM UTC

Brazil: Government confirms first COVID-19 case February 26 /update 2

Brazil News Alert

Brazilian government confirms first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) February 26; further spread of the virus expected over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/31/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Sao_Paulo). COUNTRY/REGION Brazil

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On Wednesday, February 26, Brazilian government officials confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The patient recently returned from northern Italy and is being treated in a hospital in São Paulo.

Brazilian authorities announced on Monday, February 24, that arrivals from nine additional countries will now undergo health checks upon their arrival to the country. This now includes travelers from Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Iran, and United Arab Emirates. Travelers coming from these countries that show symptoms of the virus will be subject to medical tests and potentially placed under quarantine. The policy is therefore now in effect for 16 countries.

On Friday, February 21, the Health Ministry issued the same restrictions for travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the coming days and weeks. 


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.


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