Yellow fever season in Brazil

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Recent disease outbreak news from the World Health Organization highlights that in Brazil it is currently the seasonal period for yellow fever and that further transmission of the disease is expected in the coming months based on seasonal patterns.

The viral disease is spread by infected mosquitoes and can cause an illness that leads to jaundice and bleeding. In those who develop severe disease, the death rate is high. Infection can be prevented with the practice of meticulous mosquito bite avoidance and vaccination.

WHO said that from December 2018 to January 2019, 36 confirmed human cases, including eight deaths, were reported in 11 municipalities of two states of Brazil. It also said that as of 29 September 2018, preliminary results of the mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever indicate that 13.3 million people in São Paulo, 6.5 million in Rio de Janeiro, and 1.85 million in Bahía states were vaccinated, which represents vaccination coverage of 53.6 per cent, 55.6 per cent and 55.0 per cent, respectively.

WHO said that it is continuing to monitor the epidemiological situation and review the risk assessment based on the latest available information. It said that currently, based on available information, it assesses the overall risk as high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.

Advice to travellers is to be aware of the signs and symptoms of yellow fever and for anyone experiencing symptoms to seek healthcare quickly. WHO advised that international travellers above nine months of age going to Brazil should be vaccinated.