Global & Disaster Medicine

Yellow fever – Brazil: From December 2018 through January 2019, 361 confirmed human cases, including eight deaths, have been reported in 11 municipalities of two states of Brazil.

WHO

Disease outbreak news
11 February 2019

Brazil is currently in the seasonal period for yellow fever, which occurs from December through May. The expansion of the historical area of yellow fever transmission to areas in the south-east of the country in areas along the Atlantic coast previously considered risk-free led to two waves of transmission (Figure 1). One during the 2016–2017 seasonal period, with 778 human cases, including 262 deaths, and another during the 2017–2018 seasonal period, with 1376 human cases, including 483 deaths.

From December 2018 through January 2019, 361 confirmed human cases, including eight deaths, have been reported in 11 municipalities of two states of Brazil. In the southern part of São Paulo state, seven municipalities:El dorado (16 cases), Jacupiranga (1 case), Iporanga (7 cases), Cananeia (3 cases), Cajati (2), Pariquera-Açu (1), and Sete Barras (1) reported confirmed cases. In the same state, additional cases in Vargem (1) and Serra Negra (1) municipalities were confirmed on the border with Minas Gerais State. Additionally, two cases have been confirmed in the municipalities of Antonina and Adrianópolis, located in the eastern part of Paraná State. These are the first confirmed yellow fever cases reported since 2015 from Paraná, a populous state with an international border. Among these confirmed cases, 89% (32/36) are male, the median age is 43 years, and at least 64% (23/36) are rural workers.

Human cases reported so far during the current 2018–2019 period (July 2018 to Jan 2019) in nine municipalities in São Paulo State, as well as the confirmation of human cases and epizootic due to yellow fever in the state of Paraná, mark the beginning of what could be a third wave and a progression of the outbreak towards the Southeast and South regions of the country (Figure 2). While too early to determine if this year will show the high numbers of human cases observed in the last two large seasonal peaks, there is indication that the virus transmission is continuing to spread in a southerly direction and in areas with low population immunity.


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