El retorno de la fiebre amarilla

SEATTLE – Antes de que los horrores del último brote de Ébola en África occidental pudieran empezar a borrársenos de la mente, el virus Zika estalló como un riesgo importante para la salud global y hoy ocupa a investigadores y médicos en Sudamérica, América central y el Caribe. Sin embargo, la cantidad de víctimas de otro virus -la fiebre amarilla- está creciendo a pasos acelerados.

En el sudoeste de África, Angola enfrenta una epidemia seria de fiebre amarilla, la primera en ese país en 30 años. Desde que el virus apareció en Luanda, la capital y la ciudad más poblada de Angola, en diciembre pasado, le provocó la muerte a 293 personas e infectó, se sospecha, a 2.267. El virus ahora se ha propagado a seis de las 18 provincias del país. Los viajeros han llevado casos a China, la República Democrática del Congo y Kenia. Namibia y Zambia están en un estado de alerta elevada.

El virus de la fiebre amarilla es transmitido por el Aedes aegypti –el mismo mosquito que propaga el virus Zika-. Los síntomas incluyen fiebre, dolor muscular, dolor de cabeza, náuseas, vómitos y fatiga. Al menos la mitad de los pacientes no tratados por casos graves de fiebre amarilla mueren en el transcurso de 10-14 días.

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