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Global Health
November 20, 2018

Mapping Yellow Fever Virus in Brazil

JAMA. 2018;320(19):1969. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17155

Scientists have shown that Brazil’s largest outbreak of yellow fever virus in decades arose in forest-dwelling, nonhuman primates and spread to humans at the end of 2016. The research reported in Science demonstrates how mapping viral incidence and spread in real time can help investigators develop better outbreak models that may help eliminate future yellow fever epidemics.

Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus related to dengue and Zika viruses. The virus can be transmitted via different routes. In sylvatic transmission cycles, mosquitoes living in forest canopies infect nonhuman primates, which become a reservoir to infect more mosquitoes and subsequently humans who spend time near forested areas. Urban transmission occurs directly between humans and mosquitoes.