Teen in remote Amazonian tribe tests positive for coronavirus

FOX NEWS | by Greg Norman | April 10, 2020

A 15-year-old male from a remote indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest has tested positive for the coronavirus, Brazilian health officials said.

As of Friday, the teen from the Yanomami tribe remains in the ICU at a hospital in Roraima state, Insider.com reported, citing the O Globo newspaper.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta was quoted saying that the case is “worrying” considering the tribe’s isolation from the outside world.

Uncontacted Yanomami yano (communal house) in the Brazilian Amazon, photographed from the air in 2016

Uncontacted Yanomami yano (communal house) in the Brazilian Amazon, photographed from the air in 2016 (Guilherme Gnipper Trevisan/FUNAI/Hutukara)

The teen reported having shortness of breath and fever, among other symptoms.

The Yanomami tribe, which inhabits the Venezuela-Brazil border region, is estimated to have around 22,000 members on the Brazilian side. They have been photographed in recent years from the air.

Uncontacted Indians' yano in the Yanomami indigenous reserve. (© Guilherme Gnipper Trevisan/FUNAI/Hutukara)

Uncontacted Indians’ yano in the Yanomami indigenous reserve. (© Guilherme Gnipper Trevisan/FUNAI/Hutukara)

The tribe has vast botanical knowledge and uses about 500 plants for food, medicine and building houses. Tribespeople provide for themselves by hunting, gathering and fishing, as well as cultivating crops such as manioc (cassava or yuca) and bananas, which are grown in large gardens cleared from the forest.

Brazil currently has 18,397 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 974 deaths, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

 

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