Two people have died in Misiones province due to an outbreak of Yellow Fever. The deaths of several monkeys in the same region, suspected to be as a result of the disease, have also fuelled fears that the disease might spread to other parts of the country.
Health authorities are working to ensure that anyone travelling to the Northeast, and especially the province of Misiones, is properly vaccinated.
However, this is already proving an enormous task as Hugo Fernández, National Director of Illnesses and Risks at the Ministry of Health suggested to BBC Mundo: “In Buenos Aires we are vaccinating more than 2,500 people per day in just five health centres.”
Fernández added that monkeys from both the Northeast and from the state of Corrientes are being examined in order to determine the nature of the outbreak.
The authorities in neighbouring Paraguay, concerned that the outbreak might reach their population, have taken action to prevent the spread of Yellow Fever including tightening up border control and issuing vaccinations.
The circumstances represent an interesting role reversal for the two countries, as just a year ago Argentina was taking measures to prevent the infection being carried over the border from Paraguay.
Yellow Fever, transmitted by Aedes Aegypti and heamagogus mosquitoes, has an unpleasant history in Argentina, causing 14,000 deaths in the 1871 epidemic of Buenos Aires. The disease is characterised by a fever, headaches, muscular pains and, in the fatal cases, a form of toxic liver disease.