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Traveling to Brazil? Be Sure You Get Vaccinated

Vacation season is upon us. Are you aware of the vaccinations required and risks from mosquito-borne diseases where you are going?

Since the beginning of 2017, Yellow Fever has killed 237 people in Brazil. It seems that the sudden outbreak has traveled to areas that do not normally see Yellow fever. It’s affecting the edges of Sao Paulo, Rio, and Ilha Grande, all popular tourist spots.

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., says that “This is not the time to go into an outbreak area unprotected.” Dr. Edward Ryan, director of Global Infectious Disease at Mass General does not know why the mosquitoes that carry yellow fever have moved from their usual spot up in the forest canopy down to these unexpected locations. This move, however, now creates concern that these mosquitoes could infect the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito. This mosquito already carries Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. They live close to the ground and feed on humans during the day – thriving in urban areas. If they become infected they create an even greater risk for humans.

There is no cure for yellow fever only treatment of the symptoms and it kills 20-50% of those infected.Initial symptoms include fever, chills, headache, backache and muscle aches and the fever can go on to damage the liver and create thinning of the blood. Vaccination is the best protection against Yellow Fever. It must be administered at least 10 days before you travel.

Unfortunately, at the moment there is a shortage of the vaccine in the United States. The company that produces it, Sanofi Pasteur, is working to upgrade their facilities for higher production. Also, a limited supply of a similar vaccine is being imported from Europe, however at this point, if you plan to travel to Brazil you will need to plan ahead. Safety precautions against the transmission of the disease are really a must at this time. Drs. Cetron and Ryan are optimistic that the fever will die down with the changing of the seasons, but they still say that vigilance is protection is a must.

Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts you to continue to monitor these conditions through the CDC and follow all its advisements when traveling to countries known to carry disease. Your protection and health are important to us. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call. 

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