GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- An Emergency Committee (EC) regarding yellow fever was convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) on 19 May with respect to the urban outbreak of the aforementioned in Angola and its national and international spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo, China and Kenya.
The Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is urging persons who plan to travel to in particular Angola or Kenya, or continental Africa, to consult their family physician about their yellow fever vaccination status.
Persons who would like additional information about yellow fever should consult their family physician.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within seven to 10 days.
Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99 per cent of persons vaccinated.
The EC has taken the decision that the urban yellow fever outbreaks in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo is a serious public health event which warrants intensified national action and enhanced international support.
The Committee decided that based on the information provided via teleconference on 19 May, the event does not at this time constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
One of the immediate measures to be taken by the at-risk countries and countries having land borders with the affected countries is the assurance of yellow fever vaccination of all travelers, and especially migrant workers, to and from Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo.