The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a yellow fever outbreak in the southern regions of South Sudan on Friday, April 10. According to the agency, two cases of the disease were identified in Kajo-keji county, where an outbreak was also detected earlier this year. Further transmission of yellow fever continues to be a risk in South Sudan due to displaced individuals returning from Uganda and a lack of testing capabilities at healthcare facilities. Health authorities have also warned that the onset of the rainy season in South Sudan will also provide favorable breeding grounds for mosquitoes, subsequently leading to further spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Health has advised all individuals to take measures against mosquitoes and to ensure vaccination against the virus.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease endemic to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle and back pain, vomiting, headaches, and in more serious cases, hemorrhaging and organ failure. A vaccine provides lifelong immunity and should be administered at least ten days prior to travel to be fully effective.
Individuals in Nigeria, notably in Bauchi state, are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.)