Views: 95 Posts: 0 Started By: Lil_prince Last Poster: Lil_prince Last Post Date: Aug 25, 2016
August 25, 2016 ( Post 1 )

The World health Organisation (WHO) has raised alarm over the re-emergence of yellow fever virus in some African countries. Only recently, the Angolan Health Minister, Luís Gomes Sambo, reported to the World Health Assembly in Geneva (Switzerland), that 298 deaths have been reported among the age group of 15 and 29 years, saying that the Aedes aegypti mosquito is now rampant in the country. In April, an outbreak unrelated to that in Angola appeared in Uganda on the shore of Lake Victoria. Sequencing has shown that the strain is of local origin, but may portend more outbreaks even beyond the YF endemic zone,

Other African countries currently considered as high risk yellow fever areas are; Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Togo and Uganda.
Yellow fever (YF) is a viral disease, endemic to tropical regions of Africa and the Americas and principally affects humans and nonhuman primates.
As the largest outbreak of yellow fever in almost 30 years continues to spread in Africa, scientists are warning that the world is ill-prepared for what would be a public-health calamity: the re-emergence of urban epidemics of the deadly infection, which could overwhelm vaccine stockpile. Yellow fever virus caused devastating outbreaks in cities in the past, but by the 1970s its mosquito carrier; Aedes aegypti had been wiped out from large swathes of the globe.
Most importantly, vaccination programmes helped to confine the virus to the jungle. Now, as a result of the scaling-back of control efforts, Aedes mosquitoes have re-emerged in densely populated tropical and subtropical cities where many people are unvaccinated thereby reviving fears that the virus might be poised for a devastating comeback. Yellow fever causes more than 60,000 deaths each year. Many people who become infected recover quickly but some develop jaundice, bleed from their orifices and sustain fatal organ damage.

There are increasing fears that the virus might spread to larger urban centres, as happened in 1986 in Nigeria infecting 116,000 people with 24,000 deaths. Definitely, the alarm raised by WHO should be a clarion call to the authorities on the need to take proactive measures to ward off any imminent danger in the country. Matters are made worse by the fact that Nigeria has less than 50 percent yellow fever vaccination coverage.

Even though the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Gana Muhammad, has confirmed that the country has enough vaccines to combat any outbreaks of yellow fever, we still warn against complacency and the need to embark on large-scale immunisation in those areas seen as high risk. Other emergency measures that could be implemented are mosquito control. Small fish that eat mosquito larvae are useful in cisterns and rainwater barrels, but not in small breeding sites such as plant axils, flowerpots, animal watering containers, tires and trash left out in the rain.
Desperate situations demand desperate remedies. Vaccination coverage of 80 percent is needed to stop an epidemic. Let us hope use of a five-fold lower dose of vaccine can be implemented in time to stall this grave threat.


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