Indigenous Woman in Brazil’s Amazon Tests Positive for COVID-19

The case comes amid growing fears the pandemic could devastate remote communities around the world.

Think you’re not at risk for COVID-19? Maybe this will wake you up.

On Wednesday, a report out of Brazil’s Health Ministry confirmed troubling rumors that an indigenous woman living deep within the Amazon rainforest has officially tested positive for the novel coronavirus, showing once again that the pandemic is in fact, reaching every corner of the globe right now. It’s the country’s first case reported among more than 300 tribes remaining in Brazil today, Reuters reports.

The affected was a 20-year-old woman from the Kokama tribe, a medical worker who had been in contact with a Brazilian doctor who recently tested positive last week after returning from a vacation in Southern Brazil. According to official reports, she was the only person to test positive among 15 health workers and 12 patients who were potentially exposed to the virus. So far, the woman has not shown any symptoms and has been isolating with her family at home.

The news has health experts in the region reeling, who say indigenous peoples’ way of life, in communal hamlets under large thatched structures could exponentially increase the risk of contagion if any single member contracts the virus without proper testing. For an 850,000 person strong population that has already been bombarded for centuries by diseases brought by Europeans, from malaria and smallpox to the flu, the affects could be devastating.

The case also raises fears that the epidemic could eventually spread to even the most remote and vulnerable communities around the world, with devastating effects.

Read more on Reuters.