Divulgação, Notícias

Yellow fever outbreak with wild transmission warns for possible re-urbanization?

The diseases incidence in 2017 is much greater than in previous years. The number of dead in January 2017 alone is equal to 2016 total. In 2015, five deaths were registered


This yellow fever outbreak should be taken seriously by the public health authorities and the population must be vaccinated

Brazil is currently registering the greater number of yellow fever cases since 1980. According to the Health Ministry, until april 05, 586 cases of the disease had been reported. From the 282 notified deaths, 138 were in Minas Gerais, 43 in Espírito Santo, 4 in São Paulo, 4 in Pará, and 1 in Rio de Janeiro. 105 deaths are still under investigation, from which 38 in Minas Gerais, 6 in Espírito Santo and one, respectively, in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Tocantins, Pará and Santa Catarina. The chance of the disease reaching the cities has put authorities, experts and the population under alert. To virologist doctor Luiz Tadeu Figueiredo this outbreak with wild transmission is a warning of the diseases possible re-urbanization and should be taken seriously by the public health authorities. Still according to him, the only reason stopping the disease from re-urbanizing is an immunological barrier created by vaccinated people, stopping the urban cycle. However, he stresses the need to immunize the population of large cities, especially those close to the outbreaks ground zero: Belo Horizonte, Vitória and Rio de Janeiro. He emphasizes that the Brazilian-produced vaccines are good. The 17DD live virus vaccine is highly immunogenic, but intolerance cases to it are not rare, he observes.

Meanwhile, scientists and authorities deal with the challenge to identify the cause of this disease. The virologist explains that the outbreak is alerted by primates’ deaths by yellow fever. However, we only discovered the outbreak when severe urban cases appeared, he adds. Doctor Luiz Tadeu dismisses the option of environmental degradation, what makes monkeys more susceptible to diseases and the poor vaccine coverage as possible causes for this unusual yellow fever cases increase. I do not believe the problem is environment degradation. In places where the outbreak is in course, there were others in the past, he remembers. To him, the Haemagogus and Sabethes vectors can appear close to cities with dense vegetation, as Rio de Janeiro. However, the possible transmission of yellow fever by the urban and human-preferring mosquito, the Aedes aegypti brings concerns especially in places where the population is not vaccinated against yellow fever.

For ignorance and fear of yellow fever, people have attacked and killed monkeys – the virus hosts – believing these animals are the diseases transmitters. The problem has reached the Health Ministry, who hosted a meeting to discuss actions aiming to avoid non-human primates killing. The action will appeal communities to protect their guardian angels.…