Rio de Janeiro announces fourth city with Influenza A epidemic

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Four cities in Rio de Janeiro have already confirmed that the Influenza A outbreak has evolved into an epidemic. After the capital, São João de Meriti and Japeri, all in the Metropolitan Region, this Monday (13), confirmation came from Quatis. The city is located in the south of Rio de Janeiro, in the Vale do Paraíba region, has 14.5 thousand inhabitants and borders Minas Gerais, in the city of Passa Vinte.

The municipality, which did not disclose the number of cases, says it has faced the situation since the beginning of December and does not have flu vaccines in stock. According to City Hall, the next shipment will be sent by the State Department of Health (SES) on Wednesday (15): will be 100 doses.

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Japeri said he still has doses, but the forecast is that the stock ends this Monday. With the relocation of vaccines made by the Ministry of Health last Friday (10), the municipality expects to receive another 700 doses and awaits the schedule for the withdrawal of immunizing agents.

The municipality of São João de Meriti claims that there is enough vaccine. In an update last Thursday (9), the Municipal Health Department of Rio de Janeiro reported having 23,000 confirmed cases of Influenza A.

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The state capital spent a week without vaccinating the population due to lack of doses. The campaign was resumed on December 3, after sending 100,000 doses by the SES and the donation of another 400,000 doses donated by the government of São Paulo, through the Butantan Institute.

In separate initiatives, the capital and the state government announced the implementation of 12 special tents to treat patients with Influenza A in Emergency Care Units (UPAs) and special centers.

Last Friday, the SES reported having registered an increase of 2,647% in demand for patients with flu-like symptoms in their UPAs located in the state capital.

Increase in non-state cases

On Friday (10), the State Department of Health reported having noticed an increase in the number of cases based on data filled in by the municipalities in the Information System for Notifiable Diseases in five municipalities: Belford Roxo, Duque de Caxias, São João de Meriti, Niterói and São Gonçalo. The locations, all in the Metropolitan Region, were sought by the CNN.

Duque de Caxias claims to register a 300% increase in the health network’s demand for patients with flu-like symptoms. Despite this increase, and not having more vaccines, the city does not consider the current scenario as an epidemic. The Municipal Health Department expects to receive a shipment of 4,600 immunizers by Wednesday (15).

Despite information from the state, the City of São Gonçalo reported that, although it noted an increase in demand caused by flu-like symptoms, the samples collected did not identify any of the viruses that cause Influenza in patients in the city. There is no shortage of vaccines in the city, the second most populous in the state, with 1.1 million inhabitants.

Niterói reports a 46% increase in demand for care for patients with flu symptoms, but does not consider that there is an epidemic in the municipality’s territory. According to the City Hall, there are few doses of vaccine, but new shipments to the state have already been requested.

When contacted, the State Secretariat has not yet commented on the spread of the epidemic to the fourth municipality and the logistics for distributing vaccines.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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