U.S. Docs Concerned about Yellow Fever
Infectious disease experts in the United States have warned that yellow fever outbreaks in rural areas of Brazil could spread into city populations for the first time in decades. From large cities like Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo, international travel could increase transmission of the disease throughout the world.
Yellow fever is transmitted by the same mosquito that spreads Zika virus—Aedes aegypti. The disease originated in Africa and spread to the Americas in the 1600s, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide in the 18th and 19th centuries. A vaccine that provides lifetime immunity in about 99 percent cases was developed in 1937 and is still available today.
Improved mosquito control and vaccination efforts in high-risk areas have dramatically reduced yellow fever transmission throughout the world, but local outbreaks still occur. If this current outbreak spreads to urban areas of Brazil, doctors in the United States should be vigilant about asking patients who are ill about their recent travel history.
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