The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has introduced preventive and precautionary measures to curtail the sudden yellow fever outbreak in the country. Following the report of an outbreak of fever of unknown origin in four Local Government Areas in Edo state, the state public health team commenced investigation. On the 21st of November 2018, nine cases tested positive for yellow fever. We await confirmatory results from the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory.
According to a Press Statement signed by the Chief Executive, NCDC on 24th November, “The Edo State Epidemiology Team is working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (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”.
“The 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”.
“This week, our sister agency NPHCDA flagged off a large yellow fever vaccination campaign, targeting 26 million children and adults (aged 9 months to 44 years) in six states: Niger, Plateau, Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi and the FCT. 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 says.
Yellow fever virus is spread through bites by an infected mosquito. It is a completely vaccine preventable disease and a single shot provides immunity for a lifetime. The yellow fever vaccine is freely available in all primary health care centres in Nigeria.
In addition to the vaccine, the public are advised to keep their environments clean and free of stagnant water to discourage the breeding of mosquitoes and use insecticide treated mosquito nets, screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquito bites.
Since September 2017, Nigeria has recorded suspected cases of yellow fever in all states in the country. As at the 11th of November, 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. If you have these symptoms or notice someone in your community displaying them, please contact your nearest health centre.
The NCDC has reassured all Nigerians that they will continue to work with States and partners nationwide to ensure that the outbreak is curtailed.