Health officials announced plans to implement a yellow fever vaccination campaign on Tuesday, January 9, in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Bahia states. The campaign aims to vaccinate over 19 million people in 75 municipalities. Residents of São Paulo state in particular are being urged to get vaccinated against yellow fever if they have not already done so, as three fatal cases have been reported this year as of January 9.
Brazil suffered from a widespread yellow fever outbreak from December 2016 to June 2017, during which period hundreds of cases were reported. The outbreak notably spread to urban areas of the southeastern states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Prior to 2017, yellow fever outbreaks had not occurred in urban areas of Brazil since 1942.
Symptoms of yellow fever - a mosquito-borne disease - generally appear within three to six days following infection and include fever, chills, muscle and back pain, vomiting, headaches, and, in more serious cases, hemorrhaging, and organ failure. The yellow fever vaccine should be administered at least ten days prior to travel to an affected zone to be fully effective. The vaccine provides life-long immunity.
Individuals in or planning travel to Brazil are advised to stay abreast of local epidemiological developments, consult their doctor regarding vaccination options, and continue to protect themselves against insects due to the presence of various other mosquito-borne diseases (dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika virus, etc.), e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in screened-in and/or air conditioned rooms.
A full list of zones where the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccination is available here.
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