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Yellow Fever Outbreak is the Biggest Ever Registered in Brazil

01/27/2017 - 16h19

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ANGELA BOLDRINI
FROM BRASÍLIA

With at least 87 cases confirmed in Brazil, the current yellow fever outbreak that started at the beginning of 2017 is bigger than the one of 1980, when the country's Ministry of Health made the historic data available.

By the beginning of Thursday night, January 26, the Health Care Department of Minas Gerais had confirmed a total of 84 cases of yellow fever in the state.

The total figure increased by 15 with the new confirmations - on Wednesday, the number of patients was 69. The state now reached 40 deaths, while 38 had been confirmed the day before.

All the cases in the country are of jungle yellow fever, transmitted by a cycle that involves monkeys and mosquitoes found in rural areas - no cases of urban yellow fever have been registered in Brazil since 1942.

In addition to the figures disclosed at the beginning of Thursday by the Ministry of Health, which has counted 72 confirmed cases in the country, with the 40 deaths, for the first time the total is above the 85 cases registered in Brazil in 2000, which had been the highest in the historic series. Regarding that year, a Folha article published in January 2001 showed that there had been 39 deaths in the country.

Other peaks of yellow fever occurred periodically in Brazil: in 1993, there were 83 cases registered; in 1999, 76. The last yellow fever outbreak in Brazil occurred in 2008 and 2009, with 46 and 47 cases respectively.

In 2016, seven cases of yellow fever were registered, with five deaths.

Data of the Ministry of Health show that the average death rate of the disease in the historic series is 51.8% of the cases. Among the registered cases in this year's outbreak, with 43 deaths in the country, the rate amounts to some 49.5%.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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