Epidemiological update: Yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, 21 April 2017

Epidemiological update

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection present in some tropical areas of Africa and South America. On 6 January 2017, Brazil reported an outbreak of yellow fever that started in December 2016 and that has been going on since then. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Suriname have also reported cases of yellow fever in 2017.

Weekly summary

Update of the week Between 6 and 12 April 2017, Brazil has reported 138 additional cases of yellow fever, including 19 confirmed. The additional confirmed cases have been reported in Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. Between week 13 and week 14 of 2017, Peru has reported three additional cases of yellow fever, including one confirmed

Epidemiological summary


Between 6 January and 12 April 2017, Brazil has reported 1 294 cases of yellow fever (671 suspected and 623 confirmed), including 273 deaths (64 suspected and 209 confirmed).

States reporting suspected and confirmed autochthonous cases:

  • Minas Gerais has reported 754 cases (305 suspected and 449 confirmed), including 188 deaths (37 suspected and 151 confirmed). - Espírito Santo has reported 469 cases (314 suspected and 155 confirmed), including 72 deaths (24 suspected and 48 confirmed).
  • Rio de Janeiro has reported 32 cases (22 suspected and 10 confirmed), including three deaths (one suspected and two confirmed).
  • São Paulo has reported 13 cases (eight suspected and five confirmed), including five deaths (one suspected and four confirmed).
  • Pará has reported seven cases (three suspected and four confirmed), including four confirmed deaths.

States reporting suspected autochthonous cases:

Five states have reported 19 suspected cases: Bahia (12), Rio Grande do Sul (4), Amapá (1), Goiás (1) and Tocantins (1, fatal).

Other countries in South America:

From the beginning of 2017 until 17 April, five other countries have reported suspected and/or confirmed cases of yellow fever: Peru (12), Colombia (2), Bolivia (1), Ecuador (1) and Suriname (1).

Sources: Brazil MoH PAHO WHO vaccination recommendations

ECDC assessment

The ongoing outbreak should be carefully monitored, as the establishment of an urban cycle of yellow fever would have the potential to quickly affect a large number of people. EU/EEA citizens who travel to or live in areas where there is evidence of yellow fever virus transmission should check their vaccination status and obtain medical advice about getting vaccinated against yellow fever.

In Europe, Aedes aegypti , the primary vector of yellow fever in urban settings, is present in Madeira. Recent studies have shown that Aedes albopictus can potentially transmit the yellow fever virus. However, the risk of the virus being introduced into local competent vector populations in the EU through viraemic travellers from Brazil is considered to be very low, as the current weather conditions in Europe are not favourable for vector activity.


ECDC closely monitors this event in collaboration with the World Health Organization. ECDC published its updated rapid risk assessment on 14 April 2017. ECDC is also producing epidemiological updates and a map for travel advice.