The death toll of a yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria’s northern state of Bauchi has hit 16, said local health authorities on Sunday.
The death toll increased from seven which were recorded earlier this month due to the rejection of vaccination by some locals, Rilwanu Mohammed, head of the local Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Bauchi, told Xinhua.
The most recent deaths were recorded on Thursday, Mohammed said, noting they were all infected by the disease.
“We realized that all the people that rejected vaccination are the ones dying,” he said. “They took them to a traditional healer who did his own work but the victims were still unconscious.”
Most of the yellow fever cases were recorded in the Alkaleri local government area of the state. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control had on September 3 declared an outbreak in that part of the country.
The yellow fever is mostly caused by a type of mosquitoes called “Aedes Aepyti” found in the tropics and sub-tropics. It is transmitted from person to person through mosquitoes, although there are also forest monkeys that transmit it.
At least 119 suspected cases of Yellow fever were recorded in the Nigerian state out of which 20 cases were confirmed and 16 died, Mohammed said.
The symptoms of the disease are fever, typhoid, and if left untreated will affect the blood and the victims will experience renal failure and possible coma, according to local health experts.
A one-off dose of the yellow fever vaccine can prevent the disease and provide lifetime immunity.
The government of Bauchi said its officials, starting from Monday, would visit confirmed areas to carry out door-to-door spraying of all the lava sights and fumigation of all the communities.
Official data by the World Health Organization indicates that between January and July, over 2,000 suspected yellow fever cases were reported in 506 local government areas from all 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.