By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Even with the rain in several regions of the state, about 500,000 people attended the vaccination sites on Saturday (January 27th) for what officials termed “D-Day” to combat yellow fever, according to a report released by the State Department of Health.
The public health event was organized with the support of 92 local governments within Rio de Janeiro state, as well as the mobilization of various organs of the state government and the legislative and judiciary branches.
According to the State Secretary of Health, Luiz Antônio Teixeira Júnior, the fight against the disease is not limited to D-Day, although mobilization was a great step for the vaccination of the entire population of Rio.
“We will continue with the state campaign. The number of people [that came out] shows that we are on the right track. Rio was the champion state in vaccination against yellow fever in 2017,” he said.
The expectation is to vaccinate approximately 5.4 million people as soon as possible. Up to now, about 8.6 million inhabitants have been immunized throughout Rio de Janeiro, according to a government news agency.
Already in 2018, the state of Rio recorded 26 cases of yellow fever in humans, with eight deaths. According to the latest epidemiological report of the State Department of Health (SES) in Rio de Janeiro, the eight deaths were registered in Teresópolis (two), Valença (four), Nova Friburgo (one) and Miguel Pereira (one).
In addition to the deaths, there were records of the disease in Teresópolis (two) and Valença (nine). The other municipalities with annotations of cases of the disease were Petrópolis, Duas Barras, Vassouras and Sumidouro. In monkeys only Niterói had confirmation of yellow fever in animals.
The epidemic has been a national issue, last month data from the Health Ministry shows that since July 2017 there had been 470 suspected cases of yellow fever registered in the country, with twenty deaths confirmed as being due to the virus.