February 6th, 2008 06:39 EST
Yellow Fever Reappears in Paraguay
Feb. 6, 2008-- Public health officials in Paraguay have confirmed that yellow fever has reappeared after 34 years and that steps are being taken to avoid the spread of the disease.
Authorities said Tuesday that one case involving an adult male turned up in the state of San Pedro and that people have begun receiving vaccinations to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne disease.
Yellow fever was last seen in Paraguay in 1974 after Brazilian immigrants suffering from the disease entered the country.
Last month, authorities in neighboring Brazil confirmed that five people, including a Spaniard, have died of yellow fever and that some 20 other suspected cases are under investigation.
One of the deaths was reported in the capital, Brasilia. No cases of yellow fever had been reported in Brazilian urban areas since the 1940s.
Government officials said there is no risk of an epidemic in Latin America's largest country; but, Brazilians fearing the disease lined up for hours at health centers to receive shots.
Yellow fever symptoms include muscle pain, vomiting, a high fever and headaches.
The World Health Organization says the recent yellow fever cases in Brazil are in keeping with the disease's cyclical recurrence in the wild, and do not indicate a return of the ailment in force.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.