The Democratic Republic of Congo is now free of its worst Yellow fever outbreak in years.
The government reports that there have been no new cases of yellow fever in six months.
“We are able to declare the end of one of the largest and most challenging yellow fever outbreak in recent years,” the World Health Organization’s Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti said in a statement on Tuesday
The yellow fever outbreak began in December 2015 in a slum in Luanda, Angola’s capital. The viral disease subsequently spread into the neighbouring country of DR Congo. Angola was declared free of the epidemic two months ago.
The outbreak resulted in the death of more than 400 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The gravity of the disease caused the launch of an immunisation campaign to combat the spread of the disease. There were 965 confirmed cases of yellow fever in both Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 30 million people in both countries were vaccinated. The campaign had about 41,000 people volunteer in the immunisation process, with 56 charities also participated in the vaccination campaign.
The WHO reported that at several times, the reserve of yellow fever vaccines got used up, and at a point the drug deficit caused the doctors to apply only one-fifth of the usual dosage.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedes aegypti and the haemo gogos mosquitoes. It is called ‘yellow’ for jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) which affects some patients of the sickness. The disease usually targets the liver and kidneys.
Urbanisation and mobility of population also play a vital role in the widespread of yellow fever.
“Yellow fever outbreaks like the one in Angola and the DRC could become more frequent in many parts of the world unless coordinated measures are taken to protect people most at risk,” WHO’s regional emergency director, Ibrahima Socé Fall, said in the statement.
“We need to implement a strong preventive approach to vaccinate the population at risk across the region.”