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Human presence dating back 4,000 years found in Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro: Some 500 artefacts made from stone and shells that experts consider vestiges of a human presence in Brazil dating back about 4,000 years were found during excavation for an expansion of the Rio de Janeiro subway.

The artefacts were found at an archaeological site near the port and downtown area, the Rio de Janeiro state government said.

Digs in the area began in 2013 as part of the subway expansion project, which the city pledged to complete when it was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The site, which was preserved to allow a team of archaeologists hired by the construction company to do its work, has yielded 50 stone artefacts and about 400 seashell instruments.

The artefacts are typical of those made by the primitive nomadic groups that moved across the Rio region long before the first indigenous peoples settled in the area, state officials said.

“These are pieces between 3,000 and 4,000 years old from the period when paleo-Indians who roamed the territory around the Guanabara Bay were hunters, fishermen, gatherers and nomads, and had not organised into tribes yet,” the government said in a statement.

Experts have identified spearheads and tools, such as primitive hammers, axes and scrapers, used to take meat off animal hides and to work stones.

“The prehistoric items will help us to understand an important part of the process of primitive population in Rio de Janeiro,” said archaeologist Claudio Prada de Mello, coordinator of the team that retrieved the artefacts.

“To find something like this in downtown Rio de Janeiro, an area that has undergone several cycles of settlement and transformation, is fantastic,” the archaeologist said.

(IANS)

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Brazil to vaccinate entire population against yellow fever

Thirty-four million people need to be vaccinated there, with 23 million in the northeast and 11 million in the south of the country

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Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America. Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian Health Minister Ricardo Barros has proposed to vaccinate the entire country against yellow fever after the disease emerged in new areas.

The recommendation will now be discussed with international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

At the start of February, vaccination efforts began in states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, seeking to immunize 19.7 million people against yellow fever, for which cases have been rising since last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Barros on Thursday, if the government approves the idea, separate programs will take place in each state of the country.

Also Read: Study: Partial Dose of Yellow Fever Vaccine Provides Protection

Barros added that the vaccination campaign should be rolled out gradually, according to the capacity of each state.

Certain northeastern and southern regions of the country have not seen campaigns so far, as there have been no outbreaks of yellow fever there.

At the start of February, vaccination efforts began in states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia.
At the start of February, vaccination efforts began in states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. Wikimedia Commons

Thirty-four million people need to be vaccinated there, with 23 million in the northeast and 11 million in the south of the country.

A plant belonging to Libbs Farmaceutica in Sao Paulo is currently about to begin production of 4 million doses of the vaccine a month.

From July 1, 2017, to February 20, 2018, Brazil has confirmed 545 cases of yellow fever, with 164 deaths.

A further 1,773 suspected cases have been noted, with 685 having been eliminated and 422 still under investigation. (IANS)

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