Yellow fever is spreading quickly in the Americas. What can be done?

˙ Latin America Advisor

Brazil this has seen its largest outbreak of yellow fever since the 1940s, and it continues to grow. The contagion comes at a time when the world’s supply of yellow fever vaccine is low, with not enough doses to protect Brazil’s population, not to mention the rest of the Americas, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. Health authorities throughout the region have green-lighted trials for using genetically modified mosquitos that would destroy their own species, with the goal of reducing the population of the disease-carrying insects. Others have called for more insecticide spraying and other tactics to stem the spread of yellow fever. How prepared are the Americas to prevent a yellow fever epidemic, and which other countries are most at risk? How likely is it that the disease will significantly spread beyond some regions in Brazil? Which tactics for deterring its spread are the most promising? Why is there a shortfall in vaccine availability?

See our Q&A in the Advisor today with Francisco Becerra, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Hadyn Parry, chief executive officer of Oxitec; and Ricardo Izurieta, associate professor of global health at the University of South Florida.

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