An indigenous woman in a village deep in the Amazon rainforest has contracted the novel coronavirus, the first case reported among Brazil's more than 300 tribes, the Health Ministry's indigenous health service Sesai said on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old woman from the Kokama tribe tested positive for the virus in the district of Santo Antonio do Içá, near the border with Colombia some 880 km (550 miles) up the Amazon river from the state capital Manaus, Sesai said in a statement, Reuters reported.
Four cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the same district, including a Brazilian doctor who tested positive last week, raising fears that the epidemic could spread to remote and vulnerable indigenous communities with devastating effect.
The woman has not shown symptoms of COVID-19, the sometimes fatal respiratory disease caused by the virus, and she has been isolated with her family, Sesai said.
Health experts warn that the spreading virus could be lethal for Brazil's 850,000 indigenous people, who have been decimated for centuries by diseases brought by Europeans, from smallpox and malaria to the flu.