Outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil - 1st update, 13 April 2017

Risk assessment

Suggested citation: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of yellow fever in Brazil, First update – 13 April 2017. Stockholm: ECDC; 2017.

​Brazil has been experiencing a yellow fever outbreak since January 2017 and WHO has recently updated vaccination requirements and recommendations for international travellers accordingly. This risk assessment contains updated advice to travellers and health professionals and the latest information on the epidemiological situation in Brazil, with details of the States affected and the measures being taken.

Executive summary

This is an update of the rapid risk assessment on yellow fever in Brazil following the continuing expansion of the outbreak.

The Brazilian authorities have only reported yellow fever cases related to sylvatic transmission in 2016 and 2017. However, this outbreak should be carefully monitored as the establishment of an urban yellow fever cycle would have the potential to quickly affect a large number of people. EU travellers travelling to areas at risk of yellow fever in South America should be informed of the potential exposure to yellow fever virus and an individual risk benefit analysis should be conducted during pre-travel medical consultation.

The risk of yellow fever transmission in the EU/EEA is currently very low as it depends on the virus being introduced by viraemic travellers to an area with an established, competent and active mosquito vector population.

The rapid risk assessment includes options for response for EU Member States. Notably, this includes advice to EU citizens who travel to, or live in areas where there is evidence of periodic or persistent yellow fever virus transmission, especially those in outbreak-affected regions. They are advised to be aware of the risk of yellow fever in endemic areas throughout South America, including recently affected States in Brazil (Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Pará, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) and to check vaccination status and get vaccinated if necessary.