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Southeast Brazil has experienced two large yellow fever (YF) outbreaks since 2016. While the 2016-2017 outbreak mainly affected the states of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, the 2017-2018 YF outbreak primarily involved the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, the latter two of which are highly populated and popular destinations for international travelers. This analysis quantifies the risk of YF virus (YFV) infected travelers arriving in the United States via air travel from Brazil, including both incoming Brazilian travelers and returning US travelers. We assumed that US travelers were subject to the same daily risk of YF infection as Brazilian residents. During both YF outbreaks in Southeast Brazil, three international airports-Miami, New York-John F. Kennedy, and Orlando-had the highest risk of receiving a traveler infected with YFV. Most of the risk was observed among incoming Brazilian travelers. Overall, we found low risk of YFV introduction into the United States during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 outbreaks. Decision makers can use these results to employ the most efficient and least restrictive actions and interventions.

Original publication




Journal article


Scientific reports

Publication Date





MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Humans, Yellow fever virus, Yellow Fever, Risk Factors, Disease Outbreaks, United States, Brazil, Air Travel, Travel-Related Illness