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Brazil MOH: The probability of yellow fever urban transmission is very low

Brazil health officials are saying that at this time, there is no confirmed record of urban yellow fever in the country.  This comes as authorities investigate case of yellow fever in São Bernardo do Campo in Sao Paulo, according to a Ministry of Health release Tuesday (computer translated).

Image/CDC

The investigation of the case includes patient history and capture of mosquitoes to identify the form of transmission in the region. The patient lives in the urban area, and possibly works in the rural area; however, officials say it is premature to come to any conclusions prior to the completion of the investigation.

The Ministry of Health clarifies that all cases of yellow fever recorded in Brazil since 1942 are wild, including current ones, that is, the disease was transmitted by vectors that exist in forest environments. In addition, what characterizes the wild transmission, in addition to the species of the mosquito involved, is that the mosquitoes transmit the virus and also become infected from a wild host, in this case the monkey.

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Health officials are confident that the probability of urban transmission in Brazil is very low for a number of factors: all investigations of the cases conducted to date indicate exposure to forest areas; in all places where human cases occurred, cases have also occurred in monkeys; all entomological surveillance actions, with urban and wild vector catches, did not find presence of the virus in mosquitoes of the genus Aedes; there is already a nationally established Aedes aegypti control program for other arboviruses (dengue, zika, chikungunya) that is able to maintain infestation levels below what studies consider necessary to sustain an urban transmission of yellow fever.

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In addition, there are good vaccine coverage in the areas of vaccine recommendation and a very sensitive surveillance to detect early circulation of the virus in new areas to adopt vaccination in a timely manner.

São Bernardo do Campo (SP) is one of the 77 cities of the three states of the country (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia) included in the yellow fever vaccine fractionation campaign.

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