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Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil

January 31, 2018

Health officials are urging travelers headed to Brazil to get yellow fever vaccinations due to a recent deadly outbreak of the virus.


The US Embassy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert on Wednesday for travelers visiting the cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo and Bahia.


"Anyone 9 months or older who travels to or lives in these areas should be vaccinated against yellow fever," the CDC alert said.


Yellow fever is a potentially deadly viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and its vaccine provides up to 99% lifetime immunity.


Yellow fever spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, and outbreaks usually occur in South America and Africa.


Symptoms of yellow fever usually begin three to six days after a bite and last about three or four days. They are similar to the flu and could become severe to include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and jaundice -- hence its name yellow fever.


The yellow fever vaccine "is only effective if received at least 10 days prior to arrival in an at-risk area," the CDC said.


Health officials say travelers should plan to get the vaccination before arriving in Brazil as the country is facing a shortage of the vaccine. However, American supplies of the vaccine can be also be limited.


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