Health officials have announced that as of February 20, 545 cases of yellow fever had been confirmed in the country, including 164 deaths, since July 2017. More than 130 of these cases had been reported in the previous week alone. Another 422 suspected cases are under investigation.
The worst-hit areas have been the states of Minas Gerais (264 cases, 77 deaths), São Paulo (208 cases, 57 deaths), and Rio de Janeiro (72 cases, 29 deaths), all located in the southeast of the country. The disease has not been detected in cities although urban cases cannot be ruled out.
Major vaccination campaigns, launched January 25, continue in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Vaccination campaigns were also launched in eight districts of Bahia state on February 19. A nationwide campaign has recently been proposed.
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 vaccine provides life-long immunity.
Various other mosquito-borne diseases are also present in Brazil, in both urban and rural areas, including dengue fever, chikungunya, the Zika virus, and malaria.
Individuals in or planning travel to the affected regions 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 mosquito-borne diseases (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in screened-in and/or air-conditioned rooms).
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