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World Health Organization (WHO) advises yellow fever vaccination when traveling to Brazil
In view of the current yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, the World Health Organization has issued a vaccination recommendation for travelers that affects numerous regions of the country - including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. According to the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM), health authorities in Brazil have examined around 2,000 suspected cases of yellow fever infection and 282 deaths since the beginning of the year. 574 infections were confirmed.
The biggest yellow fever outbreak in Brazil in the past 30 years is currently underway and the authorities have started a corresponding vaccination campaign, reports the CRM. In view of the risk, vaccination is currently recommended for all travelers. In addition to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the WHO also included the state of Bahia in its current recommendation.
Spread of infections since early April
The yellow fever virus transmission towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil has been expanding since the beginning of April, reports the WHO. This also affects areas that were initially not included in the risk mapping by the scientific and technical advisory group. For example, yellow fever virus infections have appeared in the state of Bahia along the northern coastal area and near the urban area of Campinas in the state of São Paulo.
Several states affected by the yellow fever outbreak
New cases from the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói have also been reported. "These reports are consistent with the increased yellow fever activity reported in southern Bahia, Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais," the WHO said. A risk-benefit assessment should be recommended to travelers when planning a stay in affected regions. The WHO has detailed in its current report which regions the yellow fever vaccination recommendation applies to.
Don't underestimate risk
Brazil travelers should not underestimate the risk of yellow fever infection, even if the disease is initially often harmless and symptoms such as fever, headache, back pain, nausea and vomiting only appear for a few days. The second phase of the disease is critical, which follows in some people after the symptoms have temporarily subsided and is accompanied, among other things, by a new fever, increasing liver damage and bleeding from the mucous membranes in the mouth, nose and gastrointestinal tract. Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract can also result in bloody bowel movements and vomiting. The second phase of the disease is often fatal. (fp)