Brazil Reports Additional Yellow Fever Virus Cases and Deaths
Yellow fever virus now circulates in metropolitan regions of Brazil
The Yellow Fever virus outbreak in Brazil appears to be going from bad to worse.
The Brazil Ministry of Health reported 846 cases and 260 deaths in the period from July 1, 2017, to March 6. 2018.
There are 828 cases still under investigation.
In comparison from one year ago, from July 2016 to March 6, 2017, there were 597 confirmed cases and 190 confirmed deaths.
Although the cases of the current monitoring period have been higher than the past, the yellow fever virus now circulates in metropolitan regions of the country with the largest population, reaching 32.5 million people who live in areas that have never had a recommendation of a vaccine.
To increase vaccination coverage, the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo decided to continue the vaccination strategy of the population.
Preliminary data sent by the Health Departments of the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to the Ministry of Health indicate that as of early March, 17.3 million people were vaccinated, representing 76% of the intended audience in the campaign.
Individually, São Paulo reported 8.4 million (90%) and Rio de Janeiro reported 7.1 million (71.5%) completed vaccinations.
Although there is no specific treatment for yellow fever, the disease can be prevented with a vaccination, at least 10 days before visiting an endemic area.
Because of increased international travel, the yellow fever virus could be on the verge of spreading to various countries. When yellow fever enters an urban cycle the virus’s transmission can spread quickly in overcrowded environments.
The number of confirmed yellow fever cases in unvaccinated international travelers has reached 10.
Previously, seven cases were reported in France, the Netherlands, two Argentinian citizens, and three Chilean citizens. The three new cases were reported in travelers from Argentina, Romania, and Switzerland.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a Level 2 Travel Alert for Brazil, a yellow fever hot-zone.
Additionally, providers and patients may also visit the CDC Travelers' Health for information about which countries require yellow fever vaccination for entry.
“The extensive outbreak of yellow fever now occurring in Brazil deserves careful attention by world health authorities”, noted Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In the USA, Sanofi Pasteur received FDA approval to distribute the STAMARIL® Yellow Fever Vaccine through an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug Program during the YF-VAX vaccine shortage, which may end in late 2018.
Various pharmacies offer the STAMARIL and YF-VAX vaccines, as well as other travel vaccines.