Deadly Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil Sparks Fears of Zika-Like Epidemic

Robbie Gramer  – January 23, 2017

There’s an outbreak of a deadly mosquito-borne illness in Brazil that has health officials worried — and this time it’s not Zika, but yellow fever.

On Monday, Brazilian authorities announced new tallies of a deadly outbreak of yellow fever in the eastern state of Minas Gerais. With fresh memories of the Zika epidemic, international health officials worry Brazil’s new outbreak could trigger a large-scale epidemic if it isn’t curtailed in time.

Brazil has recorded 25 deaths, 47 cases, and 160 suspected cases of yellow fever as of Monday. “The introduction of the virus in these areas could potentially trigger large epidemics of yellow fever,” the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a statement released on Jan. 13 as the outbreak first emerged.

The WHO is concerned yellow fever could quickly spread from the outbreak’s ground zero to other states in the north and west because of the region’s low rates of vaccinations and mosquito-friendly environments.