Yellow Fever Virus Visits Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro has announced plans to vaccinate the state's entire population against the yellow fever virus by the end of 2017.
The Rio Department of Health stated, “The aim of this vaccination program is to expand our preventative measures."
The Rio government also said, “A total of 12 million doses will be required, with three million vaccines already ordered.”
The current yellow fever outbreak has already killed at least 113 people in Brazil.
Brazil's health ministry says that yellow fever virus, which is spread by mosquito bites, has been confirmed in 352 cases, with another 915 under investigation in an unusually severe outbreak.
Although Rio has not registered any cases, it is geographically positioned close to where the disease has taken hold in the Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Sao Paulo states.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has warned Americans to take extra precautions if traveling to these affected areas, including getting vaccinated. According to the CDC, the majority of persons infected with the yellow fever virus have no illness or only mild illness.
Anyone 9 months or older who travels to these areas should be vaccinated against yellow fever. People who have never been vaccinated against yellow fever should not travel to areas with ongoing outbreaks.
The CDC no longer recommends booster doses of yellow fever vaccine for most travelers. However, a booster dose may be given to travelers who received their last dose of yellow fever vaccine at least 10 years ago and who will be in a higher-risk setting, including areas with ongoing outbreaks.
Yellow fever symptoms take 3–6 days to develop and include fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches. About 15% of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.
In persons who develop symptoms, the incubation period (time from infection until illness) is typically 3–6 days. Most persons improve after the initial presentation. The severe form is characterized by high fever, jaundice, bleeding, and eventually shock and failure of multiple organs.