Yellow fever outbreak in Brazil could cause concern in South Florida

(Associated Press)

MIAMI – A yellow fever outbreak in Brazil could cause concern for South Florida health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 2 Alert last week warning tourists traveling to Brazil to protect themselves by getting the yellow fever vaccination before departing.

The same alert reported a number of people have already contracted the disease during their travels to the country. Several of the travelers died, although none were from the U.S.

With dozens of flights and thousands of passengers arriving in South Florida from Brazil on a daily basis, the risk to those in Miami-Dade and Broward could be an issue.

Local 10 has reached out to health officials in South Florida for reaction to the outbreak and its possible affect on the area.

Yellow fever is spread through mosquitos, and in 3-6 days those infected could develop symptoms such as fever, chills, headache and muscle aches. Nearly 15 percent of people with yellow fever develop serious illness, and sometimes death.

The outbreak in Brazil began in the country's eastern states in early 2017. Warnings have now spread to major areas in Brazil, including São Paulo State, the city of São Paulo and all coastal islands, and all of Rio de Janeiro State, including the city of Rio de Janeiro and all coastal islands.

In addition to being vaccinated, those traveling to Brazil are urged to use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.