Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak Update: United States Health Experts Currently Monitoring The Deadly Disease

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Mar 14, 2017 07:42 AM EDT

The experts warn that the danger of the outbreak would be critical if the virus begins to spread by the same mosquito that transmits Zika virus. The Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak has been ongoing since December 2016. (Photo : MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/Getty Images)

Latest updates have revealed that top infectious disease experts are currently warning about a rapidly spreading Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak. According to reports, this deadly yellow fever could hit parts of the United States.

The experts warn that the danger of the outbreak would be critical if the virus begins to spread by the same mosquito that transmits Zika virus. The Washington post reported that the Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak has been ongoing since December 2016.

However, the Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak mostly affects people in rural areas in the southeastern part of the country. The outbreak takes place primarily in jungle areas, where it is reported that the forest-dwelling mosquitoes are transmitting the virus mostly to monkeys. But, it is now reported that a swelling number of people have now been infected too. The current outbreak has made Brazil the worst Yellow Fever outbreak among humans in decades.

According to reports, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has noted that there have been at least 326 confirmed cases, which includes 220 deaths, with hundreds of additional cases currently under investigation, according to CNN. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci stated on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine that experts are concerned because the increasing number of Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak cases is much higher than what is reported in a typical year in this part of Brazil.

It has also been reported that officials are especially worried because the affected areas are close to major urban centers including Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, as city-dwelling Aedes aegypti mosquitoes could start transmitting the disease in a human-to-human cycle. Aedes aegypti are the same species of mosquito that spread Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, which are viruses related to Yellow Fever.

The officials noted that even though there is currently a highly effective vaccine for the disease, it is not routinely administered in Brazil's major urban centers. However, it is reported that millions of Brazilians have been vaccinated this year as health officials scramble to prevent the Brazil Yellow Fever Outbreak from developing into an epidemic.

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