Which Yellow Fever Patients Need Help STAT?

Brazil requires yellow fever vaccination prior to visiting certain areas in 2019
hospital care for a man, monitor on finger
South America (Vax Before Travel)

A new study in Brazil has provided new insights into the yellow fever virus patient screening by hospital staff. 

This is an important study since yellow fever patients experience significant morbidity. 

And, Brazil is one of the countries reporting new yellow fever cases in 2019. As of April 18th, Brazil has confirmed 75 cases. 

This ‘observational’, small, study of 76 lab-confirmed yellow fever patients published in The Lancet on May 16, 2019, suggests hospital staff should prioritize treatment for men, who are older than 45 years of age, and have a high neutrophil count.

The simple identification of these attributes could help clinicians prioritize admission to the intensive care unit, as patients often deteriorate rapidly. 

These researchers in Sao Paolo City, Brazil, found 26 (36%) of the 76 cases died within 2 months of hospital admission. 

This study’s participants had their yellow fever infection confirmed by real-time PCR in blood collected at admission or tissues at autopsy.

These samples were sequenced with the complete genomes of yellow fever virus from infected individuals and evaluated demographic, clinical, and laboratory findings at admission and investigated whether any of these measurements correlated with each patient’s outcome. 

These researchers concluded ‘hospital resource allocation could be improved to prioritize key laboratory examinations that might be more useful in determining whether a patient could have a better outcome.’ 

‘Our findings suggest that an effective antiviral could alter the clinical course for patients with the most severe forms of yellow fever.’ 

But, as of April 2019, there is no medicine to treat or cure a yellow fever infection. 

Yellow fever virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes yellow fever, an acute infectious disease, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yellow fever is a single-stranded RNA virus, belonging to the genus Flavivirus.

Recent yellow fever virus news:

Over the last 2 years, Brazilian health authorities have conducted mass vaccination campaigns and have increased the number of municipalities where vaccination against yellow fever is recommended. 

The preliminary results of the 2018 mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever indicate that 13.3 million people were vaccinated. 

In response to Brazil’s ongoing yellow fever outbreak, the CDC issued a Level 2 Travel Alert during May 2018 recommending visitors to Brazil protect themselves by getting the vaccination at least 10 days before arrival. 

And, on February 10, 2019, the Pan American Health Organization reiterated its recommendation that international travelers should get vaccinated against the yellow fever virus prior to visiting endemic areas in Brazil. 

In the USA, the Stamaril vaccine is approved and has a clinical efficacy profile similar to the YF-VAX vaccine.

Vaccine financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts. 

International travelers can find convenient locations to schedule a pre-trip vaccination counseling appointment by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.