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WHO reports an outbreak of yellow fever in Venezuela and recommends vaccination

WHO reports an outbreak of yellow fever in Venezuela and recommends vaccination

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported today an outbreak of yellow fever in Venezuela, with seven cases that were confirmed by laboratory tests at the end of September and among which six corresponded to people who were not vaccinated against this endemic disease. in this and other South American countries.

Faced with this health risk, in a country with a very precarious health system and facing the covid-19 pandemic, the WHO said that the most urgent thing is to increase vaccination coverage among the population, particularly those who live in areas Amazonians and that are exposed to two mosquitoes that transmit the disease in forest areas (Haemagogus and Sabethes).

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He also recommended that vaccination be increased among indigenous people, immigrants and vulnerable people living in densely populated urban areas, where they are exposed to the Aedes agyepti mosquito, active in cities.

"The reported cases of yellow fever show the importance of vaccinating against yellow fever, especially in high-risk endemic areas with ecosystems favorable to its transmission," the WHO said in a statement.

On the other hand, the organization recommended that all travelers older than nine months get vaccinated against yellow fever at least ten days before entering Venezuela.

The vaccine in question has been used for several decades and is on the WHO list of effective and safe drugs, and with a single dose it generates protection for life.

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However, the organization emphasized that it does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions with Venezuela based on the information available so far.

In the registered outbreak no person has died and three patients were asymptomatic. The other four developed symptoms, including headache, eye pain, itchy skin and joint pain.

The probable place of infection is a rural municipality in the state of Monagas, in northeastern Venezuela.

Yellow fever is classified as a hemorrhagic disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus and can occur in humans and other primates. It has no specific treatment, its potential for spread is very high, and it can cause serious health problems among unvaccinated people.

The WHO noted that Monagas has a low immunization rate against yellow fever (67.7%), indicating that a significant part of its inhabitants are at high risk.

A UN entity dedicated to humanitarian aid reported in January 2020 the first case of yellow fever in Venezuela in fourteen years.

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