Brazil confirms 353 yellow fever cases, including 98 deaths

Brazil's Health Ministry has confirmed more than 350 cases of yellow fever as the infection rate picks up steam in the nation at the centre of the last outbreak. There's currently a shortage of yellow fever vaccine in Canada.

The current outbreak is developing more slowly than last year's, which claimed 159 lives

An elderly woman waits for health agents who vaccinate people in a neighbourhood where the risk of yellow fever infection is high, during an emergency campaign of vaccination in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week. (Paulo Whitaker/Reuters)

Brazil's Health Ministry has confirmed more than 350 cases of yellow fever as the infection rate picks up steam in the nation at the centre of the last outbreak.

The current outbreak is developing more slowly than the previous one. The ministry said Wednesday that 353 people have been infected so far, of which 98 have died. During the same period in the 2016-2017 outbreak, 509 cases were recorded, including 159 deaths.

Over the past week, the number of cases confirmed in Minas Gerais state more than doubled from 77 to 157. Sao Paulo state has recorded the most cases, with 161.

Large swaths of Brazil have long been at risk for yellow fever, but it saw an unusually large outbreak last year, including in places not previously considered at risk.

There's currently a shortage of yellow fever vaccine in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada's travel health notice recommends that travellers consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before departing.

The vaccination is recommended for anyone older than nine months travelling to areas in Brazil with known risk.

The federal health agency advises that people who cannot get vaccinated against yellow fever consider not travelling to at-risk areas.

With files from CBC News