Brazil yellow fever cases rise to 1,131; 338 dead

SAO PAULO — Brazil's Health Ministry says 1,131 people have been infected with yellow fever in the largest outbreak the Latin American country has seen in decades.

The ministry said Wednesday that 338 people have died from the mosquito-borne disease. In the 2016-2017 outbreak, there were 777 cases and 261 deaths after years in which Brazil saw only a handful of cases each year.

The ministry says the current outbreak has grown so large because it is hitting densely populated areas.

While large swaths of Brazil have long been at risk for yellow fever, the current and previous outbreaks have hit areas not previously considered at risk for the disease and where vaccination rates were low. In response, Brazil has decided to vaccinate the entire population by April 2019.

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