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After Zika Virus, Brazil Investigates Dozens Of Yellow Fever Cases

Update Date: Jan 24, 2017 11:09 PM EST

After the Zika virus outbreak that rattled the country, Brazil is now facing another health crisis. Health officials are now investigating a recent Yellow fever outbreak that has infected 47 people and killed 25 others.

The outbreak is centered in the east-central state of Minas Gerais, wherein the governor has declared an 180-state of emergency this month after an initial report of eight deaths.

Health officials revealed that the vaccines have been delivered to the area, Health Aim reports.

The government has sent 2 million extra doses of the vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease to the state and it said that hundreds of thousands of other doses will be sent there and the nearby province of Espirito Santo this week, Fox News reports.

The health officials have launched a probe into more than 160 other suspected cases of Yellow fever. In 2016, the country had only reported seven cases, which was way fewer than what the country had in the first month of 2017.

What Is Yellow Fever?

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that yellow fever is an acute hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, just like Zika virus and Dengue fever. The "yellow" in the name of the disease refers to jaundice or yellowing of the skin found in some infected patients.

The signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and fatigue. Some patients may suffer severe symptoms and about half of those die within just seven to 10 days.

The virus is endemic in tropical areas like Central America, South America, and Africa. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever and the supportive care is based on the symptoms.

However, preventive precautions like wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent may help prevent mosquito bites. Vaccination against the disease may also help. The yellow fever vaccine is similar to that of other injections wherein it contains a live, weakened virus that is given in a single shot.

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