Yellow fever cases in Brazil tripled, confirms WHO

Brazil's death toll from yellow fever triples - WHO
Representational picture for mosquito which causes viral yellow fever Pixabay

The World Health Organisation has said that the outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil resulted in 35 confirmed cases, with 20 deaths and 145 more awaiting test results. Of 35 cases of human yellow fever, 20 were in Sao Paulo, the largest city in the country, said the world body.

The highest number of cases were reported in Maripora which is located 15 Kms away from the northern part of the municipality of Sao Paulo. Apart from Brazil, one case of yellow fever was confirmed in a Dutch traveller who returned from Brazil on Jan 11.

The World Health Organization has recommended every traveller to Brazil to be vaccinated before. "Considering the increased level of yellow fever virus activity observed across the state of São Paulo, the WHO Secretariat has determined that, in addition to the areas listed in previous updates, the entire state of São Paulo should also be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission. Consequently, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for international travellers visiting any area in the state of São Paulo," it said in a travel advisory.

Last week has seen many Brazilians and foreign tourists in the country rushing to get the vaccination.

Yellow fever is a viral disease caused by mosquitoes in the tropical region, especially in marshy lands. It is already a major killer in Africa. The death of several monkeys in the Atlantic rainforest last year was the first sign that yellow fever was back in Brazil, said WHO.

Some key facts of yellow fever at a glance:

  • Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
  • Some patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of them die within 7 to 10 days.
  • In Brazil, the confirmed cases of yellow fever infections are reported in four main states, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
  • Travellers visiting Brazil have to get yellow fever vaccination 10 days before departure.