Who issues yellow fever warning for countries bordering Brazil
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries neighbouring Brazil of the risk of yellow fever. The occurrence of the disease in animals in the states of Roraima (which borders Venezuela), Mato Grosso do Sul (which has a border with Argentina) and Paraná (close to Argentina and Paraguay) "represents a virus circulation risk to these countries, especially in the areas with the same ecosystem," says the bulletin released last Friday (3 February).
According to the organisation, these local cases were reported in non-human primates. Of the total 1,202 dead primates, 259 were confirmed to have been infected with yellow fever. In addition to the border regions, cases in animals have been reported in the states of Tocantins, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Norte and the Federal District.
However, WHO says that human cases had been only confirmed in Brazil as far last Thursday (2 February). Colombia and Peru reported possible cases.
In Brazil, according to the Ministry of Health, 921 cases of yellow fever were reported between 1 December 2016 and 3 February last, of which 161 were confirmed and 58 were ruled out. Of the 150 reported deaths, 60 have been confirmed, 87 are still being investigated and 3 have been ruled out.
WHO recommends continued efforts to appropriately and timely detect, confirm and treat cases of yellow fever. It also recommends that countries keep their health professionals up-to-date on the issue and trained to detect and treat cases. "The most important measure for the prevention of yellow fever is vaccination," says the report.
Since early this year, the Ministry of Health has sent extra doses of yellow fever vaccine to the states that have reported suspected cases of the disease, as well as others located on borders with areas that have reported cases. In total, 8.2 million extra doses have been sent to five states: Minas Gerais (3.5 million), Espírito Santo (2 million), Bahia (900,000), Rio de Janeiro (700,000) and São Paulo (1.1 million). The amount is in addition to the routine doses sent monthly to the states as part of the National Vaccination Calendar, which in January totalled 650,000.