Brazil yellow fever outbreak largest in decades; 846 cases

March 7, 2018

Brazil's yellow fever outbreak has now infected more people than the previous one, which had been the largest in decades.

The Health Ministry said Wednesday that officials have confirmed 846 cases of the . Of those, 260 have died.

In the 2016-2017 , Latin America's largest nation saw 777 cases and 261 deaths.

Large swaths of Brazil have long been at risk for yellow fever. But the previous outbreak and the current one are happening in areas not previously considered at risk for the disease and where vaccination rates were low. The current outbreak is hitting the populous states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais hard and encroaching on major cities.

In response, Brazil has launched a campaign to vaccinate more than 23 million people.

Explore further: Brazil yellow fever cases on track to surpass last outbreak

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