The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is urging travellers to ensure they are vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to visiting areas where the virus circulates.
In a statement, PAHO’s regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries where yellow fever circulates to continue to immunize at-risk populations.
It said that between January 2017 and December 2018, seven countries, including Suriname, have reported cases of yellow fever and that so far this year, Brazil and Peru have reported confirmed cases in 2019.
PAHO/WHO said they would continue to urge member states to take all actions necessary to keep travellers well informed of risks and preventative measures against yellow fever, including vaccination. “Travellers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and seek medical attention if they fall ill during or after their trip.”
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that can result in death. It is preventable with a vaccine that is safe, effective and accessible. Periodically, and for reasons that are difficult to predict, the sylvatic yellow fever cycle produces broad outbreaks in monkeys (epizootics).
PAHO said that urban transmission of yellow fever occurs when the virus is transmitted from human to human by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.