There has been six laboratory confirmed yellow fever cases from South Omo, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region in Ethiopia as of May 7, prompting the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia to launch an emergency mass-vaccination campaign that will cover more than a half-million people, according to a World Health Organization outbreak update May 31.The mass yellow fever vaccination campaign will commence on June 10 and will immunize more than 527, 000 people in the following six districts: South Ari, North Ari, Benatsemay, Selamago, Hammer, and Gnangatom and one administrative town (Jinka) in South Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia.
The International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) will provide over 585,800 doses of yellow fever vaccine for the mass vaccination campaign run by the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia, with support from the GAVI Alliance and other partners.
The positive cases were discovered through the national surveillance program for yellow fever.
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.