Infectious Diseases

16 August 2016

Yellow fever vaccine drive starts; aid group warns of spread

Yellow fever vaccination drive starts in Africa as aid group warns of global spread.


One of the largest yellow fever outbreaks in decades has killed hundreds in Central Africa and could soon spread globally, aid group Save the Children warned at the start of a massive vaccination campaign this week in Congo and Angola.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that more than 400 people have already died in this outbreak. It says it is working with partners to vaccinate more than 14 million people to stem its spread. But supplies are limited, so limited doses are being used.

The virus has already spread from Angola to Congo, with a total of 5 000 suspected cases.

The mosquito-spread virus was largely wiped out in the West following the development of two vaccines in the 1930s, but it still sparks epidemics in Africa and Latin America.

Read more: 5 potential epidemics to watch out for this year