Brazil Remains a Yellow Fever Hot-Zone

PAHO reported 100 new suspected human cases and 18 more deaths from Yellow Fever virus

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) posted a Yellow Fever update for Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

Since the February 16, 2017 update, the PAHO reported there have been 100 new suspected human cases and 18 more deaths from Yellow Fever.

This new information increases the total number of suspected cases to 1,336 and the total number of deaths to 215.

Moreover, the case-fatality rate is 35% among confirmed cases, and 12% among suspected cases.

Three additional Brazilian states have reported suspected or confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease, including Bahia (9), Espirito Santo (177), Minas Gerais (1,008), Rio Grande do Norte (1), Sao Paulo (10), and Tocantins (2).

Only three states have reported confirmed Yellow Fever cases, which are Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, and Sao Paulo.

The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) has issued a level 2 travel warning for Brazil, urging anyone 9 months or older traveling to affected areas of Brazil to get vaccinated against yellow fever.

Those who were vaccinated against yellow fever more than 10 years ago should get a booster shot, the CDC said.

“When traveling into at-risk areas, getting the Yellow Fever vaccine is a safe bet,’ said Rannon Ching, Pharm.D, a travel vaccine specialist at Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, TX. “Access to the vaccination is one of the biggest barriers to becoming immunized.”

“Only CDC and state authorized yellow fever vaccination centers can administer the Yellow Fever vaccine. Some community pharmacies have certified staff available and offer online scheduling services to streamline the patient experience, Ching.”

According to the Brazilian government, 3.33 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed throughout Minas Gerais, and 1.55 million people have been vaccinated.

The price of the 17D yellow fever vaccine, ranges from $150 to $350.

Yellow Fever virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever is a very rare cause of illness in U.S. travelers. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding.

Yellow Fever disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms.

Preventing the Yellow Fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.