Infectious Diseases

24 August 2016

WHO meeting to discuss yellow fever outbreak in Africa

A large-scale yellow fever vaccination campaign is already under way in the DRC, with 14 million people set to be immunised against this acute viral disease.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that an emergency meeting will take place next week to discuss counter-measures for a yellow fever outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

Vaccination campaign under way

An estimated 500 individuals have already been killed across the two African countries, according to the international charity Save The Children, which warned last week that the outbreak could soon spread globally if not contained. 

Read: UN bungles response to yellow fever outbreak in Africa

A large-scale vaccination campaign is already under way, with 14 million people in the DRC set to be immunised against the acute viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. 

Makeshift clinics were set up last week in churches and schools across Kinshasa, DRC's densely populated capital, as well as other regions bordering Angola.

Read: Yellow fever vaccine drive starts; aid group warns of spread

An additional three million people have already been vaccinated, as well as 13 million in Angola.

There is no specific treatment for the viral haemorrhagic disease which is found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America's Amazon region.

Vaccination is the best preventive measure against the disease.

Poor sanitation has been the main cause of the outbreak as it provides a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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