Deadly yellow fever is spreading unabated
From LUCAS PEDRO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – FEARS are growing a deadly yellow fever outbreak in Angola, which has already spread to Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and China, will continue to spread internationally without immediate action to prevent it.
Yellow fever has killed about 300 people in Angola since the beginning of the outbreak in December 2015, and a further 2 267 people are believed to have been infected.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has warned that limited vaccine supplies, inadequate disease surveillance systems, poor sanitation and everyday cross-border economic and social interaction could turn a national outbreak into a global crisis, if no immediate community-based action is taken.
“Unvaccinated travellers could transform this outbreak into a regional or international crisis if we don’t move quickly to protect vulnerable populations and help communities to reduce their risk of infection,” Dr Julie Lyn Hall, the IFRC’s director of health, said.
The Angolan outbreak has resulted in cases being imported to DRC and Kenya.
It has been confirmed as the source of 11 infections China.
A separate yellow fever outbreak has been confirmed in Uganda, with more than 50 suspected cases in three districts.
There are growing concerns that the outbreak could easily spread to neighbouring countries such as Namibia and Zambia, where the population is not vaccinated against the disease unlike in Angola where 7 million people have already been vaccinated.
Volunteers and staff of the National Red Cross Societies in Angola, DRC and Uganda are working across the affected areas.
The disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for spreading the Zika virus.
– CAJ News
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