GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for international travellers to get a yellow fever vaccination if traveling to Espirito Santo State, Brazil.
As of 3 March 2017, yellow fever virus transmission continues to expand towards the Atlantic coast of Brazil in areas not deemed to be at risk for yellow fever transmission prior to the revised risk assessment published on the Event Information Site (EIS) on 26 January 2017, and supported by the scientific and technical advisory group on geographical yellow fever risk mapping (GRYF).
Taking into account the speed of spread observed in Espirito Santo State, the proximity to the urban area of Vitoria of epizootics and human cases under investigation for yellow fever infection, as well as the implementation of yellow fever vaccination campaign in the State of Espirito Santo as a whole, the WHO Secretariat has determined that the State of Espirito Santo in its entirety should be considered at risk for yellow fever transmission.
Therefore, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for international travellers visiting any area in Espirito Santo State.
The current advice by the WHO Secretariat for international travellers going to areas of Brazil deemed to be at risk, including Espirito Santo State in its entirety, is the following: vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to the travel.
Note that, as per Annex 7 of the International Health Regulations (2005), a single dose of a yellow fever vaccine approved by WHO is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease.
Travellers with contraindications for yellow fever vaccine (children below 9 months, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with severe hypersensitivity to egg antigens, and severe immunodeficiency) or over 60 years of age should consult their health professional for advice.
WHO Secretariat further advises the adoption of measures to avoid mosquito bites; awareness of symptoms and signs of yellow fever; seeking care in case of symptoms and signs of yellow fever, while travelling and upon return from areas at risk for yellow fever transmission.
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), will continue to monitor developments related to yellow fever. Its surveillance mechanism was placed on alert for any potential cases in January.
The department is requesting for all to be on the alert and be proactive in mitigating mosquito borne diseases by consulting your physician, removing mosquito breeding sites and apply mosquito repellent to stop mosquito’s from feeding.
Persons returning to Sint Maarten experiencing yellow fever symptoms should immediately consult their family physician.
For more information call CPS at 542-2078, 542-3003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org