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Dangerous infectious disease: Brazil travelers should protect themselves from yellow fever
After the Zika epidemic in Brazil, yellow fever infections are currently on the rise in the South American country. Nationwide, over 260 deaths from the dangerous infectious disease have already been registered. Vaccination is recommended for travelers.
Yellow fever outbreak in Brazil
The global Zika emergency ended only about six months ago. The virus had resulted in thousands of newborn skull malformations (microcephaly). Brazil was particularly affected. The South American country is now suffering from another tropical disease: More than 260 yellow fever deaths have been registered nationwide. Vaccination is recommended for travelers.
Experts recommend vaccination to travelers
As reported by the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM) in Düsseldorf, the health authorities of seven states in Brazil have reported 1,561 suspected yellow fever cases and 264 deaths since the beginning of January. 448 infections were confirmed.
The state of Minas Gerais is most affected, but diseases have also occurred in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.
"It's the biggest outbreak in the past 30 years," writes CRM. And: "Vaccination is currently recommended for all travelers."
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) only recommends vaccination when traveling to the actual distribution areas. The city centers of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo are excluded from this.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), vaccination against yellow fever when traveling to high-risk areas is strongly recommended. "Yellow fever is often fatal and there is no specific therapy," said the experts.
Spread in tropical regions
The infectious disease occurs in tropical areas on both sides of the Atlantic and is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela are particularly affected in South America.
According to WHO estimates, there are up to 200,000 cases of illness and 60,000 deaths worldwide each year, most of them in African countries.
In infected people, after an incubation period of three to six days, general disease symptoms such as fever, headache and nausea initially appear.
Most patients then recover. In some cases, after a brief improvement, there is a second period of fever with bleeding, vomiting and organ damage. A typical sign is jaundice. Furthermore, cramps and confusion can occur.
If the course is severe, up to 50 percent of infections are fatal. (ad)