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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 22:45 GMT
Fever vaccines sent to Paraguay
Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo

People queue to be vaccinated against yellow fever in Luque, Paraguay
Some of those queuing for vaccines are growing impatient
The World Health Organisation is sending two million doses of vaccine to Paraguay to combat the country's first outbreak of yellow fever in 34 years.

Local people have been queuing for vaccinations following the outbreak in which seven people died.

Extra vaccines have been sent from other countries in the region. But large amounts of stocks have already been used up.

Paraguay has declared a state of emergency to last 90 days.

The mood of those queuing outside medical centres has become increasingly impatient.

At one medical centre, police in riot gear were reported to have been used to protect the building, as an angry crowd gathered outside.

'Irresponsible allegations'

The government has dismissed as "irresponsible" allegations that health workers have been vaccinating politicians in their homes.

To help meet demand Paraguay has been importing doses of the vaccine from neighbouring Latin American countries and from France, which is a leading supplier.

Brazil, which is also dealing with an outbreak of yellow fever in which 16 people have died, was among the countries to provide assistance.

The authorities in Paraguay say the World Health Organisation supply of vaccines is expected to arrive at some point this weekend.

Yellow fever is contracted through a mosquito bite and the symptoms include fever, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.

Most people recover after a few days, but a second more toxic phase can prove fatal. It is thought that worldwide around 30,000 people die each year from the disease.

SEE ALSO
Paraguay put on dengue alert
30 Jan 08 |  Americas
Yellow fever alert alarms Brazil
11 Jan 08 |  Americas
Paraguay dengue official sacked
06 Mar 07 |  Americas
Dengue sparks Paraguay emergency
02 Mar 07 |  Americas
Dengue alert issued in S America
06 Feb 07 |  Americas
Brazil wages war on dengue
10 Mar 02 |  Americas

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