It’s a sigh of relief for the people of Congo and Angola following Tuesday’s declaration by theWorld Health Organization that the yellow fever outbreak in the two countries is now under control.
In a United Nations briefing in Geneva, WHO Director of Infectious Hazard ManagementSylvie Briand announced that the ongoing massive vaccination campaigns in Angola and Congo have helped eradicate new infections of yellow fever, according to Reuters.
“One (piece of) good news is that this outbreak is under control now. We haven’t had any new cases in Angola since June 23, and since July in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo),” Briand said.
More than 15 million people in Angola have been vaccinated, while 7.7 million people were vaccinated in Kinshasa, Congo, in just 10 days.
An additional 3 million were vaccinated in border areas to prevent transmission from Angola as well as another 3 million on the DRC side of the border.
Briand, however, noted that the threat of yellow fever is still very much alive in many African countries, including a few parts of Congo, which haven’t had the second phase of vaccination.
Worst Outbreak in Decades
Since February, many African countries, particularly Angola, have been grappling with the spread of yellow fever, a deadly viral disease transmitted through mosquito bites.
In Angola, alone, 369 deaths have been reported out of the already confirmed 3,867 cases — the majority of which have been in Luanda, the country’s capital city.
In DRC, at least 16 deaths have been reported and 2,269 cases of yellow fever confirmed since March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Uganda declared the termination of their yellow fever outbreak on September 6th, but according to WHO, this outbreak was not related to the outbreaks in Angola and Congo.
The most common symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.