Nigeria: Responding to a Yellow Fever Outbreak Amidst a Global Pandemic


Sumary of Nigeria: Responding to a Yellow Fever Outbreak Amidst a Global Pandemic:

  • Nigeria is a high-risk country for yellow fever and is a priority country for the global eliminate yellow fever epidemics (EYE) strategy..
  • The county has taken great strides toward boosting yellow fever protection and has vaccinated approximately 70 million people through reactive and preventive activities since 2017..
  • Yellow fever is caused by a virus spread through the bite of infected mosquitos of the Aedes and Haemogogus species..
  • People who are infected can develop serious symptoms, including high fever, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains, headache, convulsion and jaundice..
  • Workers at selected hospitals in each of the five affected state have been trained and provided with supplies to treat yellow fever patients..
  • Dr Onyinye Emefiene, WHO National Surveillance Officer/State Coordinator, is leading one of the teams responding to the outbreak in Delta State..
  • “Since then, it has been a marathon to ensure that active search for suspected cases is done, cases are appropriately managed and reactive vaccination commenced..
  • Even though the reactive vaccination in the affected areas have been concluded, the battle continues to contain and control yellow fever epidemics in Delta State and beyond by strengthening our surveillance system and delivering potent vaccines to all eligible persons in the state.”.
  • An accelerated preventive yellow fever mass vaccination campaign commenced in the other local government areas in Delta State the first week of December 2020..
  • Meanwhile, a sensitization campaign is being implemented in the affected communities on avoiding daytime mosquito bites, keeping home surroundings clean and clearing mosquito breeding areas..
  • Large epidemics of yellow fever occur when infected people introduce the virus into heavily populated areas with high mosquito density and low coverage for yellow fever vaccine..
  • In Delta State, for example, all cases have no history of yellow fever vaccination, including a one-year-old baby..
  • National and state authorities are currently focused on the COVID-19 pandemic response, limiting the human resources required to conduct investigations and response activities for the yellow fever outbreaks..
  • The relative proximity of Delta, Enugu, Benue and Ebonyi states with Lagos is an added concern because the introduction of yellow fever outbreaks in urban environment with a large unvaccinated population can lead to rapid amplification with associated severe impacts…

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