Via CIDRAP, Stephanie Soucheray writes: With yellow fever reaching Rio, official says Brazil prepared. Excerpt from a long, informative report:
With the first case of yellow fever (YF) confirmed late last week in the Rio de Janeiro metro area and cases in several Brazilian states spreading closer to cities, an official from the country's ministry of health says authorities are prepared for a potential explosion of the virus in Brazil's densely populated urban centers, but much of the population lacks coverage.
A 61-year-old man in Marica, which is about 30 miles east of downtown Rio, died on Apr 19, and the state health department confirmed that he had contracted the mosquito-borne disease, the Rio newspaper O Globo reported on Apr 20.
His is the 11th case in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the third death, the story said.
All of Rio targeted for vaccine
In interviews with CIDRAP News, Akira Homma, MD, a senior scientific adviser at Bio-Manguinhos, Fiocruz, which is responsible for developing and producing vaccines in Brazil, said the country is currently able to keep up with demand for YF vaccine. Brazil is the only country in South America to manufacture the vaccine.
Homma said the routine demand of YF vaccine is around 15 million doses yearly, but because of the current outbreak, an additional 52 million doses are needed by the end of 2017. Homma said that it takes 40 to 50 days to produce the YF vaccine, but, Bio-Manguinhos had already obtained enough active pharmaceutical ingredients for more than 50 million doses. He said it was possible to formulate the vaccine in 21 to 22 days.
"We have already supplied 24 million doses as of now," said Homma via e-mail. "The plan is to vaccinate the entire population of Rio de Janeiro city by the end of the year." Rio is Brazil's second-largest city, with 6.3 million people (Sao Paulo has double that amount). Recent epizootic cases near the urban area suggest that human transmission may be inevitable.
"[The] Brazilian National Immunization Program has discussed a lot with the states and municipalities health authorities and reached a scheduled to immunize all the people located in the expanded risk areas," Homma explained. "The priority for vaccination is the people living closer to the places or regions where YF cases or monkeys died by YF infection."