Brazil city on alert as yellow fever hits

CASIMIRO DE ABREU, Brazil — The city of Casimiro de Abreu in the state of Rio de Janeiro is on high alert after authorities confirmed the death of a man by yellow fever and said they were investigating several other possible cases.

Health authorities last week confirmed that 38-yearold Watila Santos died from the illness March 11.

A neighbor of Santos, Alessandro Valenca Couto, was infected and sent for treatment to a hospital in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where he is recovering.

In the city center and rural areas of Casimiro de Abreu, about 93 miles from Rio de Janeiro, a large tent has been set up to vaccinate people. Authorities say about 30,000 of the city’s 42,000 people have been vaccinated in recent days.

Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes fever, body aches, nausea and sometimes jaundice. Rio de Janeiro’s state Health Department has announced plans to vaccinate its entire population as a preventive measure. It says it will need 12 million doses to reach a 90 percent vaccination rate by year’s end.

The vaccinations come as cases continue to be confirmed in several areas nationwide. Brazil’s Health Ministry says that at least 424 people have been infected with yellow fever in the largest outbreak the country has seen in years.

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