Nigeria battles resurgence of yellow fever in Delta, Enugu communities

As Nigeria records sudden surge of Yellow Fever, YF, in some communities in two Southern States, Delta and Enugu the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control , NCDC, has said that it is currently supporting the affected.

According to the NCDC it’s support follows the spike in cases and deaths recorded so far in those communities in the two states.

NCDC had on 2nd and 3rd of November 2020, notified by the State Ministries of Health of Delta and Enugu States respectively, of cases presenting with symptoms indicative of a viral hemorrhagic fever.

Most cases presented with fever, headache, fatigue, jaundice vomiting (with or without blood) among others.

As at the 6th of November 2020, three samples from Delta and one sample from Enugu tested positive for yellow fever at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital Laboratory and NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa.

The diseases agency noted that more samples are being tested from both states to confirm the causative organism of this outbreak.

The State Epidemiology Teams are leading the response with support from NCDC, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

An incident management system has been activated by NCDC to coordinate response activities and Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been deployed to both states. The NCDC and State RRTs are carrying out active case search, risk communications and community engagement as well as ensuring prompt management of cases. Our sister agency, NPHCDA is working with the affected states to plan for a vaccination campaign.

Yellow fever is a vaccine-preventable disease, and a single shot provides immunity for a lifetime. Symptoms of the disease include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain. The yellow fever vaccine is available for free in primary health care centres in Nigeria as part of the national childhood routine immunisation schedule. The yellow fever virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has advised the public to take the precautionary measures to reduce the risk of yellow fever infection which includes keeeping clean environment clean and free of stagnant water to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

People should use of mosquito treated nets and install screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquito bites.

Avoid self-medication; visit a health facility immediately if you feel ill and have symptoms such as fever while Healthcare workers are reminded to maintain a high index of suspicion for yellow fever amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency further enjoined parents to ensure their children are vaccinated against yellow fever as part of the national childhood routine immunisation schedule.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said it has being engaged in continuous proactive and reactivate vaccination campaigned one of such is the WHO’s EYE- Strategy to eliminate YF epidemics from the country.

After 21 years after the last case of YF in Nigeria on the 12th September 2017 a new case was reported, since then there has being pockets of cases in the country.

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