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Remote Yanomami Tribe In Brazil Records First Case Of Coronavirus

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Remote Yanomami Tribe In Brazil Records First Case Of Coronavirus

A 15-year-old boy from one of Brazil's most remote tribes has tested positive for coronavirus.

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The indigenous teenager of the Amazon's Yanomami people is currently being treated in the intensive care unit at the main hospital in Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima, the northern Brazilian state where much of the Yanomami tribe live.

According to Globo, the Amazonian boy was admitted on Friday 3rd April after complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, fever and sore throat.

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An initial exam found the teen to test negative for the illness, however, a follow-up confirmed he had contracted the virus.

(Credit: PA)
(Credit: PA)

The boy is reported to have travelled back to the Yanomami reserve last month after classes at his school were suspended due to Brazil's Covid-19 outbreak.

The Yanomami are a group of approximately 35,000 indigenous people, spread over between 200 and 250 villages in the Amazon rainforest.

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The unnamed teen is said to be one of seven indigenous people to test positive for the virus in three Amazon states, including Pará, Amazonas and Roraima.

Members of the Yanomami people (Credit: Wikimedia)
Members of the Yanomami people (Credit: Wikimedia)

The news proves worrying for health officials who are concerned about the impact an outbreak with the indigenous communities could have on the longstanding tribes.

Respiratory illnesses are already the main cause of death for native communities, according to the BBC.

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"There is an incredible risk of the virus spreading across the native communities and wiping them out," Sofia Mendonça, a researcher at the Federal University of São Paulo told the outlet.

"Everyone gets sick, and you lose all the old people, their wisdom and social organization," Dr Mendonça added. "It's chaos."

In the 1960, an outbreak of the measles in the Yanomami community killed nine per cent of those infected.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, Life

Ciara Sheppard
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