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SASTM Newsflash - Yellow fever - DRC


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SASTM Newsflash






The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is launching an emergency mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever from 20 Jun 2013, following laboratory confirmation of 6 cases in the country on 6 Jun 2013.


The mass vaccination campaign aims to cover at least 503 426 people in the 3 affected health zones of Lubao, Kamana and Ludimbi-Lukula [Kasai-Oriental province], where cases have been confirmed.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the 6 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from 3 health zones: Lubao (4 cases), Kamana (1 case) and Ludimbi-Lukula (1 case). They were identified through the national surveillance program for yellow fever.

The laboratory confirmation was done by the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, a WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever.


Preliminary outbreak investigation revealed that the index case is a 16-year-old boy from Kisengua village in the Lubao Health Zone who became ill on 1 Mar 2013. The outbreak investigation team has also identified 51 suspected cases including 19 deaths, in the 3 health zones. Serum samples have been taken from 13 patients and are being analyzed in the Institute National of Biomedical Research (INRB).


According to the CDC, yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.


Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding. Yellow fever disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes.


There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.


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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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