Brazil Reports Yellow Fever Fatality Rate of 23%

Visitors to Brazil should consider yellow fever vaccination 10 days prior to arrival

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A new update published by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals a significant Yellow Fever health risk in the country of Brazil. 

According to the WHO on April 18, 2019, from July 2018 through March 2019, Brazil recorded a Yellow Fever case-fatality ratio of 23 percent. 

In the current Yellow Fever season in Brazil, a total of 75 confirmed human cases, including 17 deaths (case fatality rate of 23%), have been reported in the states of São Paulo (62), Paraná (12), and Santa Catarina (1). 

This is actually good news when compared with 2017-18, when Brazil confirmed 1,376 human cases, including 483 deaths, which is a 35 percent case fatality rate.

This improvement may be related to Brazil’s yellow fever vaccination program.

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 in São Paulo, 6.5 million in Rio de Janeiro, and 1.85 million in the Bahía states were vaccinated. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites. The yellow fever illness ranges from a fever with aches and pains to severe liver disease, with bleeding and yellowing skin. 

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

In response to Brazil’s yellow fever outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 departure. 

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

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

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

Vaccine discounts and financial support programs can be found on this webpage.   

Relevant Links: CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, international travel alerts, and report vaccine side effects.