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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Feb;101(2):169-75. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of yellow fever in Brazil: analysis of reported cases 1998-2002.

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Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde, Ministry of Health, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil.


Yellow fever (YF), an arboviral infection of major public health importance in Brazil, is associated with high mortality and high epidemic potential. We analysed confirmed YF cases from the National Surveillance System from 1998-2002 and assessed risk factors for death among hospitalised patients. Variables assessed included age, gender, clinical signs and laboratory findings. A logistic regression model was used to identify independent predictors of death among hospitalised patients. From 1998-2002, among 2117 suspected YF cases reported to Brazil's Ministry of Health, 251 (11.9%) had confirmed YF, of whom 217 (86.5%) were hospitalised and the case fatality rate was 44.2%. Factors associated with higher mortality in univariate analysis included male gender (relative risk (RR) 1.96, 95% CI 1.17-2.28), age >40 years (RR 2.61, 95% CI 1.25-5.45), jaundice (RR 2.66, 95% CI 2.12-3.35), serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) >1200 IU/l (RR 1.84, 95% CI 1.23-2.74), alanine aminotransferase >1500 IU/l (RR 2.09, 95% CI 1.38-3.17), total bilirubin >7.0mg/dl (RR 2.33, 95% CI 1.44-3.78), direct bilirubin >5.0mg/dl (RR 2.29, 95% CI 1.33-3.94) and blood urea nitrogen >100mg/dl (RR 5.77, 95% CI 1.43-23.22). In multivariate analysis, elevated AST and jaundice remained independently associated with higher mortality. These findings suggest that selected clinical and laboratory indicators may help clinicians recognise potentially fatal cases of YF.

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