Friday, December 7, 2012

Update on Yellow Fever Outbreak in Darfur

Yellow fever risk area in Africa (
Here is an update from the WHO on the yellow fever outbreak in Darfur.

"Yellow fever" refers to the disease caused by the yellow fever virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes in areas of Africa and South America. This a hemorrhagic fever virus associated with substantial mortality and high morbidity. Worldwide there are approximately 200,000 cases yearly with 30,000 deaths. Although a safe and effective vaccine is available for this disease, there is no treatment (other than supportive care) for people who contract it. 

Yellow fever virus (
As of December 4th in the Darfur outbreak there have been 732 suspected cases of yellow fever with 165 deaths.

A multi-disciplinary team is investigating the outbreak to better understand its scope and epidemic potential. War and social upheaval have traditionally been linked to infectious disease outbreaks. Recent conflict and mass population displacement in Sudan likely has contributed to this current outbreak. 

An emergency mass vaccination campaign has been occurring in the region since late November; the goal is to vaccinate over 3 million people at risk for acquiring the disease. This vaccination effort will be critical in curbing this outbreak and preventing a full-blown epidemic. 
Aedes aegypti mosquito (the mosquito that transmits
the yellow fever virus);

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