Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Yellow fever in Paraguay

20 February 2008

As of 20 February 2008, The Ministry of Health (MoH), Paraguay have notified the confirmation of 7 cases of jungle yellow fever from San Pedro Department. Another cluster with 4 clinically compatible cases occurred in the urban area of San Lorenzo municipality, 20 km from Asuncion. Final confirmation of these 4 cases is pending.

The Ministry of Health has strengthened public health containment measures in the affected areas. Integrated control measures involving mass vaccination for people living in, or travelling to, the affected area; vector control; and heightened surveillance are underway to prevent serious public health consequences given the current low level of immunization among the people living in the affected area.

A PAHO team of experts including an epidemiologist, clinician/virologist, risk communicator, immunization advisers and emergency management experts was deployed to Paraguay on 15 February. A laboratory scientist from IEC Instituto Evandro Chagas (Brazil) will join the national public health laboratory shortly.

Yellow fever vaccines shortage has been addressed by mobilizing vaccines available in countries of the region. In addition, the MoH has requested 2 million doses of vaccine from the WHO ICG (International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision).

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