Mass vaccination after ‘unusually large’ yellow fever outbreak in Brazil

mosquitoMosquito (yellow).Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro are to vaccinate all residents of the Brazilian state against yellow fever after at least 113 people died from the disease this year.

In addition to the 113 dead, a further 104 checked positive for being sick with the disease. The onset of the mosquito transmitted illness is unusually large.

None of the Brazilian deaths have been in Rio, but the neighbouring states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, and Sao Paulo have been affected.

The goal for Rio is ‘to expand the strategy of vaccination as a preventive measure,’ wrote health authorities in a statement on Saturday.

A total of 12 million doses of vaccine have been set for dispense by the end of the year.

Brazil’s central health authorities have so far registered 352 cases of yellow fever this year. The Red Cross warned last May against yellow fever becoming a global health crisis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed this in August, with a crisis offensive against the disease in Africa after an outbreak of the disease in Congo and Angola had killed 400 people.

Yellow fever is spread by the mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, the same as spreads the zika virus which is associated with underdeveloped brains of foetuses.

The vaccine against yellow fever provides nearly 100% protection and is relatively inexpensive.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today