A Yanomami woman with traditional ornaments.
DeAgostini/Getty Images

Brazilian health officials confirmed the first case of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, among the remote Yanomami tribe in the Amazon.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said at a press conference on Wednesday that a 15-year-old boy from the indigenous tribe has tested positive for the disease.

Mandetta said that the case was "worrying," particularly because of the remote community's separation from the outside world.

According to Brazilian newspaper Globo, the boy was admitted to the intensive care unit at a hospital in Roraima, Brazil's northernmost state located in the Amazon region, on April 3. He reported shortness of breath, fever, chest pain, and sore throat.

According to Globo, the boy first tested negative for the disease but later tested positive. He remains in the ICU.

The Yanomami tribe is made up of approximately 38,000 people and is considered to be the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America, with over 9.6 million hectares (2.3 million acres) of land along the Venezuelan border.

The tribe has dealt with deadly outbreaks of infectious disease, including measles and flu, in the past when military agencies, miners, and religious missionary groups exposed the tribe to diseases to which they had no immunity.

Brazi has confirmed at least seven coronavirus cases among its indigenous populations, according to Globo. Indigenous people across several states have closed off villages from outside communities to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

According to Globo, respiratory disease is already the leading cause of death among native populations in Brazil. The country's health ministry has created a national crisis committee in order to monitor the impacts of Covid-19 on indigenous people and prevent further spread.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: