Cape Town – A yellow fever outbreak detected in Nigeria early last month is worsening and leading to many cases and deaths across five of the country’s 36 states.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 530 suspected cases, including 172 deaths, have been reported in Delta, Enugu, Benue and Ebonyi states in southern Nigeria and Bauchi in the north, writes international media outlet Voice of America.
The state epidemiology teams continue to lead the response with support from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and WHO.
The Delta State health surveillance system was informed of the outbreak on October 30 after a cluster of deaths presented with similar symptoms, said WHO.
According to the global health authority, yellow fever is caused by a virus spread through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which bite during the day.
Some of those infected develop serious symptoms, including high fever, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains, headache and jaundice. Some die from the complications of internal bleeding and organ failure.
According to WHO, Nigeria is facing concurrent outbreaks of multiple pathogens, including Lassa fever, vaccine-derived poliovirus, measles, monkey pox and cholera.
Nigeria has been battling successive yellow fever outbreaks since September 2017.
Meanwhile, according to the NCDC, the government of Nigeria requires that all travellers nine months of age or older show proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter the country or a signed and stamped International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP or “yellow card”).
As the west African country battles the Covid-19 pandemic, Covid-19 response efforts demand an extraordinary amount of time and resources from the country’s health system, which remains severely constrained.
WHO said the outbreak poses an additional challenge to the country’s health system as Africa’s most populous nation deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, several concurrent disease outbreaks and a humanitarian crisis in the north-east.
African News Agency (ANA)