Yellow fever has hit the headlines once again. The Brazilian authorities have re-issued a health alert for visitors coming to Brazil and intending to visit certain regions of the country where yellow fever is endemic. The recent deaths of a handful of people in Goiania and Brasilia have provoked a sudden rush to the health centres.
The basic facts about yellow fever in Brazil remain the same:
1. It is strongly recommended that people visiting the states of Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins be vaccinated against yellow fever.
2. Additional areas of potential risk have been identified in the western areas of the states of Santa Catarina, Paraná (including the area around Iguassu Falls), Piauí, São Paulo and on the southern part of the state of Bahia. No cases of yellow fever have been recorded on these areas but visitors are advised to get the vaccine.
3. Any other part of the country not included above is risk-free. The popular tourist destinations where there is no risk of catching yellow fever and, therefore, no need to get the vaccine, include:
State of ALAGOAS: Maceió, Maragogi, the Rota Ecológica and the rest of the state.
State of BAHÍA: Salvador, Morro de São Paulo, Praia do Forte. For the southern coast of the state (Porto Seguro, Arraial d’Ajuda, Trancoso, Caraíva) the vaccine is recommended.
State of CEARÁ: Fortaleza, Canoa Quebrada, Jericoacoara and the rest of the state.
State of PARAÍBA: João Pessoa and the rest of the state.
State of PARANÁ: Ilha do Mel and the rest of the coast of the state.
State of PERNAMBUCO: Recife, Olinda, Porto de Galinhas, Fernando de Noronha and the rest of the state.
State of RÍO DE JANEIRO: Río de Janeiro, Paraty, Ilha Grande, Búzios, Arraial do Cabo, Cabo Frío and the rest of the coast of the state.
State of SANTA CATARINA: Bombinhas, Camboriu, Florianópolis and the rest of the coast of the state.
State of SÃO PAULO: Santos, Guarujá, Ilhabela, Ubatuba and the rest of the coast of the state.
State of SERGIPE: Aracaju and the rest of the state.
State of RIO GRANDE DO NORTE: Natal, Pipa and the rest of the state.
The latest information can be found on the Brazilian Health Minister website: Ministério da Saúde. As usual in Brazil, the information contained on the Ministry’s homepage is only in Portuguese.
However, a reader of this blog has reported the existence of a website of the same Ministry, but under a different subdomain (and with no link from the Ministry’s homepage) with information in English on yellow fever: Febre amarela (I certainly can’t see how a visitor to the Ministry’s webpage would find their way to the page in English). The information contained here is of a general nature and does not relate specifically to the current crisis, as does the Portuguese-only information of the homepage. So, those wanting to read more about yellow fever in English can do so at the link provided; those wanting to find out information in English on the current crisis, will be left waiting.
Yellow fever is a serious disease. If in doubt, get the vaccine. You should do so at least 10 days prior to travel.