Brazil just announced the first case of coronavirus among the Yanomami people, an Amazon indigenous group known for its extreme remoteness.
Reportedly, a 15-year-old boy is being treated in the ICU at a hospital in Boa Vista, the capital of the northern state of Roraima.
Unfortunately, this is not the first case of coronavirus that has made its way to the indigenous population in Brazil.
In fact, Brazil has confirmed at least seven coronavirus cases within its indigenous population. (The first confirmed case came about one week ago from a 20-year-old woman from the Kokama ethnic group.)
Brazil is home to an estimated 800,000 indigenous people and they make up more than 300 different ethnic groups. As you are probably aware, indigenous populations are extremely vulnerable to diseases because they have not encountered the same type of germs that mainstream society has been exposed to.
Therefore, their immunity systems are very different from most of the world’s.
In the past, these isolated communities have been hit very hard by diseases such as measles and malaria back in the 1970s.
So physicians are taking extra care to make sure that these vulnerable populations do not get ravaged by the coronavirus.
Personally, I’m wondering how the heck these isolated tribes are getting exposed in the first place. I’m sure they will eventually be able to trace some of these cases and give us some insight because I am very curious as to how it happened.
If anything, it just underscores how contagious this pandemic truly is.
To get some perspective on how it compares to other epidemics since the year 2000, check out the chart below which really puts things into perspective.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.