SAO PAULO – The city of Sao Paulo has intensified its vaccination campaign against yellow fever after verifying that a monkey died of the disease, and city authorities also ordered on Wednesday more parks closed since they are suspected of being breeding grounds for mosquitoes that transmit the virus.
The Brazilian Health Ministry announced that it will provide 1.5 million additional doses of vaccine for Sao Paulo, where on Saturday the health campaign to prevent yellow fever will be redoubled.
At least 86,000 people have been vaccinated so far in the northern zone of Brazil’s biggest city where the monkey was found to have died of the virus.
Over the past week, 13 parks in the same area have been closed to the public as a preventive measure, the great majority of them since Monday, although authorities have stated that there is no yellow fever epidemic.
Local residents are lining up these days to get vaccinated, and one of them – Laura Castro – said that she had gotten worried because of the “great alarm about the fever.”
“I’m worried because I have other illnesses and so I have to protect myself against yellow fever. I and other neighbors in the northern area are looking urgently for the vaccination sites,” she told EFE.
According to estimates by the Sao Paulo Health Secretariat, the plan is to vaccinate at least half a million people as part of the program to cover the public against the disease.
According to the secretariat, if a true epidemic develops, the measures will be revised.
Since Saturday, more than 30 health facilities have been administering vaccine and long lines of people have been waiting at their doors.
The closure of the parks comes just a month after the Health Ministry declared the end of the health emergency caused by the outbreak of yellow fever that affected Brazil’s southeast and – between December 2016 and last August – led to 261 deaths and another 777 verified cases of infection.
Yellow fever causes fever and chills, exhaustion, head and muscular aches.