Brazil vacationers should definitely get vaccinated against yellow fever
According to health experts, travelers to Brazil should definitely be vaccinated against yellow fever. The South American country has long been hit by a severe yellow fever epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives. Tourists have also contracted the dangerous infectious disease.
Vaccination is recommended for travelers
Brazil has been suffering from a severe yellow fever epidemic for a long time. The tropical disease has already killed hundreds of people in the South American country. European travelers have also become infected with the dangerous disease and in some cases have only become ill in their home countries. Health experts therefore strongly advise travelers to Brazil to be vaccinated against yellow fever.
Sick after returning from Brazil
As reported by the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM) in Dusseldorf, a tourist contracted yellow fever in January after returning from Brazil in the Netherlands.
The 46-year-old Dutchman returned to his home country earlier this year after spending several weeks in Maripora in the São Paulo metropolitan area.
He suffered from high fever, headache and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
At Erasmus University Hospital Rotterdam, suspicions of yellow fever were confirmed, against which the traveler was not vaccinated.
Tourists passed away
According to CRM, further infections among tourists became known in mid-February.
A 35-year-old and a 20-year-old Chilean have therefore been on Isla Grande, off the south coast of Rio de Janeiro, since December and died there.
An Argentine, a Romanian, and a Swiss were probably infected in the same region. The first infection in the city of Sao Paulo was confirmed in mid-February, and a French tourist also fell ill after a stay in the state of Minas Gerais.
Biggest yellow fever outbreak in the last 30 years
As of July last year, 545 infections including 164 deaths have been officially confirmed in the following states: Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and the Federal District. Most cases were registered in December and January.
The authorities have asked the population to be vaccinated. Numerous monkeys had previously died from the infection in the region. Between December 2016 and August 2017, the largest yellow fever outbreak in the past 30 years was recorded.
The southeast of the country was hardest hit. Health experts such as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend a yellow fever vaccination when traveling to Brazil.
Infection can be fatal
CRM also advises travelers to protect. "Yellow fever infections can be fatal," said Professor Dr. Tomas Jelinek, scientific director of CRM.
"The vaccination, on the other hand, is highly effective and offers reliable protection."
Already ten days after vaccination, the average is 80 to 100 percent, 30 days afterwards there is practically 100 percent immunity.
"We therefore recommend travelers to destination Brazil to be vaccinated against yellow fever at least ten days before departure," said the expert.
"In addition, you should, for example, as part of a travel medical consultation, find out which measures you can take to avoid mosquito bites."
Wearing light, loose clothing and using mosquito nets are options that help to combat annoying mosquitoes.
Above all, the chemical defense is effective. Agents with the active ingredient DEET (diethyltoluamide) are recommended as mosquito repellent.
Spread in tropical regions
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), vaccination against yellow fever when traveling to high-risk areas is strongly recommended. "Yellow fever is often fatal and there is no specific therapy," said the experts.
The infectious disease occurs in tropical areas on both sides of the Atlantic and is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela are particularly affected in South America.
According to WHO estimates, there are up to 200,000 cases of illness and 60,000 deaths worldwide each year, most of them in African countries.
In infected people, after an incubation period of three to six days, general disease symptoms such as fever, headache and nausea initially appear.
Most patients then recover. In some cases, however, after a brief improvement, there is a second period of fever with bleeding, vomiting and organ damage. A typical sign is jaundice. Furthermore, cramps and confusion can occur.
If the course is severe, up to 50 percent of infections are fatal. (ad)