Yellow fever in Brazil?
As we learned in school, yellow fever had a devastating impact on the world around the time of the construction of the Panama Canal, a little over 100 years ago.
Sadly, there is an outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil, as we see in this report:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice for people thinking about traveling to most parts of Brazil: get vaccinated against yellow fever, or stay home.
Brazil is currently suffering a major outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, and it's striking places that don't normally see the virus. Since the beginning of 2017, 237 people, including several tourists, have died after becoming infected with the virus.
Carried by mosquitoes, the virus has also spread to the very edge of Brazil's largest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and has also infected mosquitoes on the Ilha Grande, a major tourist destination not far from Rio.
"This is the time not to go into an outbreak area unprotected," said Dr. Martin Cetron, director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the C.D.C. "We recommend people defer travel to these areas of transmission if they can't be protected by the vaccine."
Am I the only one who finds this story unbelievable? After all, we are talking about two of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, Rio and São Paulo, and a country with a Top 10 GDP.
The health implications are compounded by two things:
First, a country awash with rumors exploding in social media. My friend in Brazil wrote that it is not unusual to get a tweet or Facebook message about an outbreak here or there. People are consuming one rumor after another.
Second, Brazil's political class has very little credibility following an impeachment, one scandal after another, and bad economy.
It'd be better not to travel to Brazil in the near future. If you must, get the proper vaccine or medication.