Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases,
Region of the Americas
Vol. 5, No. 2 (14 January 2008)
Main Updates index
Yellow Fever in Brazil
Since April 2007, the National Yellow Fever Alert System in Brazil has registered an increase of epizootics (animal epidemics) in monkeys in nine states considered at risk for the yellow fever (YF) virus, including Goiás State, where the national capital of Brasília is located and where animal cases have been laboratory confirmed for YF.
During December 2007 and January 2008, a further significant increase in reports of epizootics has been taking place in Goiás, involving 23 new municipalities, some of them considered of interest for national and international tourism. Animal cases have also been registered in the Federal District (Distrito Federal or DF, i.e. the city of Brasília).
Six human cases of jungle yellow fever (JYF) were confirmed in Brazil between April and November 2007 in four different states, including one in Goiás (April 2007). Between December 2007 and January 2008, 24 human cases of YF (including 3 suspected deaths) were reported in the States of Goiás, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and the DF. Two of these cases have been confirmed. One involved a resident of the DF who died following a history of having travelled to Pirenópolis (Goiás); and the other, a resident of São Paulo State who has recovered and whose probable locale of infection was the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. Of the 24 cases, 5 were discarded.
Considering the potential human public health risk in Goiás and the DF, the Ministry of Health and local health authorities in Goiás have declared a state of alert and have launched control measures to avoid the occurrence of human cases and to assure the early detection of human cases in the region. At present, the Ministry of Health does not consider that there is any risk of a yellow fever epidemic.
The following activities have been planned by the Ministry of Health to deal with the situation:
- Intensification of the YF vaccine campaign for all persons 6 months and older who have not already been vaccinated or who were vaccinated more than 10 years ago.
- Vaccination for tourists at least 10 days before the date of travel, for persons working in ecotourism, and for rural migrant workers.
- Vector control measures in urban areas close to locations where affected primates have been found.
During 2007, about 520,000 people in Goias and 320,000 in Brasilia were vaccinated against YF. The Ministry of Health is now deploying 2,267,500 more vaccine doses for the area.
Additional information (in Portuguese) can be found on the website of the Secretariat of Health Surveillance of the Ministry of Health of Brazil:
For a summary of yellow fever cases and deaths reported to PAHO, visit the Yellow Fever Page.
Source: Information received by PAHO-Brazil from the Secretary of Health Surveillance (Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde / SVS), Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde / MS), Brazil.