NCDC confirms yellow fever outbreak in Edo

National coordinator, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu [Photo: Health News Extra]
National coordinator, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu [Photo: Health News Extra]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Edo State.

The health agency in charge of disease control in Nigeria in a press release made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday said it has begun investigations alongside the state public health team following the report of the outbreak.

According to the statement signed by the Executive Director, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, the outbreak was reported in four local government areas.

The origin, he said, remains unknown.

“On the 21st of November 2018, nine cases tested positive for yellow fever. We await confirmatory results from the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory,” he said.

“The Edo State Epidemiology Team is working with the NCDC, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out a detailed investigation and response to the already confirmed cases,” he said.

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Mr Ihekweazu also said NCDC has deployed a rapid response team to support the state with contact tracing, risk communications, and management of cases.

There are ongoing plans to begin a vaccination campaign in the state in response to the cluster of cases, he added.

Meanwhile, the federal government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation has begun a yellow fever prevention campaign in six states of the country.

The campaign which began on Thursday targets the vaccination of 26 million children and adults (aged 9 months to 44 years) in the: Niger, Plateau, Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi and the FCT.

According to NCDC, one dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides for life-long protection against the disease.

“We urge all Nigerians to get vaccinated and encourage their families, and neighbours to do the same,” it said.

Yellow fever is a vaccine preventable disease.

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The disease after 21 years of silence, resurfaced in the country in September 2017 in a seven-year-old girl at Ifelodun Local Government Area in Kwara State.

The girl had no previous history of yellow fever vaccination. She also had no travel history outside her state two years before the illness.

As at the November 11, 140 cases have been laboratory-confirmed in Nigeria.

A multi-agency yellow fever Emergency Operations Centre has been established at NCDC to coordinate the response.

The symptoms of yellow fever include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain.

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