Brazil is carrying out mass vaccination campaigns for yellow fever in the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, while strengthening surveillance and case management throughout the country since an outbreak of sylvatic yellow fever began in January. More than 18.8 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, in addition to routine immunization efforts.
Case numbers have been declining in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo, but close monitoring of cases is continuing and Brazil is strengthening its capacity to quickly detect and treat cases of yellow fever. Vector-borne diseases have a seasonal characteristic in tropical areas and it is expected that new cases will diminish during dry and cold weather seasons.
Brazil’s Ministry of Health has reported 492 confirmed cases of yellow fever as of March 24, with 162 confirmed deaths. Another 1101 suspected cases are under investigation. A total of 1,324 epizootics, or deaths from yellow fever in primates, have been reported to the Ministry of Health, and 387 of these were confirmed by laboratory or epidemiological link, while 432 others are still being investigated.
Mass immunization is the most effective way to prevent disease.