Sunday, January 15, 2017

And now there is a yellow fever outbreak in Brazil


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It’s been a rather bad two years from Brazil.  It started with that humiliating 7-1 loss at home in the 2014World Cup, aka the afternoon that Germany did not stop scoring.  Add zika, the impeachment of a president for corruption scandals, and now an outbreak of yellow fever.
This is from Dom Phillips:
The governor of the Minas Gerais State in southeastern Brazil declared a public health emergency on Friday over an outbreak of yellow fever that appears to have killed at least 10 people so far and led to reports of more than 100 suspected cases of the disease.
The state authorities said Friday they were investigating 133 suspected cases of yellow fever, of which 20 were considered probable, pending further testing. They said they were also looking into reports of 38 deaths, 10 of them suspected of being caused by yellow fever, according to the State Health Secretariat’s website.
The state health authorities said the number of suspected cases had more than doubled in recent days: 48 suspected cases had been reported as of Wednesday, and that figure rose to 110 on Thursday.
To be exact, this is happening in one state and not the entire country.  Nevertheless, Minas Gerais is the second most populous (20 million) and the fourth largest state in terms of its geographical area.  The city of Belo Horizonte is here.  Again, this is not a small, isolated area with a small population.
As the article outlines, yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
It leaves me wondering about the state of social services in a tropical country where mosquitoes are everywhere.  What happened to the vaccines?  Why was it allowed to get this bad?  As a local health official said:
The question is why people weren’t vaccinated in these areas[.] … Minas Gerais has long been known as a risk area for yellow fever. That is what most calls my attention.
Well, let’s hope it all works out.  It’s been a rather bad year for the good people of Brazil!
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