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Yellow Fever Is Here to Stay, Says São Paulo Government

03/06/2018 - 12h03

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ANGELA PINHO
FROM SÃO PAULO

According to Marcos Boulos, the disease oversight coordinator at the Secretary of Health of the state of São Paulo, yellow fever is no longer a disease that will have periodic outbreaks, but a disease that is here to stay.

Historically, bigger outbreaks of the virus would resurface in five to eight-year intervals. Infected patients were mostly concentrated in the North and Center West of Brazil.

Ever since 2000, however, the disease made its way down the coast until it was detected in the forest areas of the state capital in 2017.

In addition to this new geographical distribution is the continuous occurrence of animal fatalities caused by the disease since 2016: something that has even occurred during the winter, which is considered unusual.

These factors are what led the coordinator of the São Paulo State Health Secretary to conclude that the presence of the virus has become permanent.

According to Mr. Boulos, peaks in yellow fever cases will continue to take place during the summer, but new seasonal records ought to arise during different periods of the year.

In light of the current scenario, the state government has decided to vaccinate the entire population.

According to Secretary David Uip, the Health Minister who is serving the administration of governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), the deadline has yet to be defined.

After spreading to the north of the metropolitan region, the disease has already made its way to the coastal region of São Paulo, where one human was infected in Itanhaém, and to the Vale do Ribeira region, where one monkey was infected in the city of Pedro de Toledo.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Andre Penner/Associated Press
A woman receives a vaccine against yellow fever at a public health center, in Sao Paulo, Brazil
A woman receives a vaccine against yellow fever at a public health center, in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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