On the 12th of September 2017, a case of Yellow fever was confirmed in a young girl in Oke Owa community, Ifeolodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. Laboratory diagnosis was carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and confirmed at the Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal.
Since confirmation, the State Epidemiology Team has been working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre (NAVRC), World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in carrying out a detailed investigation and risk analysis. A multi-agency Incident Management System has also been constituted at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to ensure a rapid and coordinated response.
In response to the case, and in line with WHO guidelines, a vaccination campaign is being planned to begin in the affected and surrounding Local Government Areas on 30th September 2017, to prevent further spread. An Emergency Operations Centre is being activated in the State to ensure a coordinated and efficient response at the state level.
Communication activities are being intensified to enlighten healthcare workers and the general public supported by UNICEF. The Federal Ministry of Health, its agencies and partners remain committed to prevent further spread of the disease and limit its impact.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice (yellowness of the eyes), muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Some infected people may not experience any of these symptoms, while in some the symptoms might be mild. In severe cases, jaundice and bleeding may occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. Vaccination against the disease remains the most important measure in preventing Yellow Fever, and the Yellow Fever vaccine is part of the childhood immunization schedule in Nigeria.
Other methods of prevention include using insect repellents, sleeping under long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, living in net screened accommodation, ensuring proper sanitation and getting rid of stagnant water or breeding places for mosquitoes.
Although there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, intensive supportive care can be provided. Most patients would recover with appropriate care when they present early enough. Health care workers are strongly advised to practice standard precautions while handling patients and/or body fluids at all times. They are also urged to be alert, be familiar with the case definition and maintain a high index of suspicion.
Nigerians are advised to remain calm and supportive of public health authorities, avoid self-medication and report to the nearest health facility if feeling unwell or notice any of the above symptoms in anyone around you.
For further information, contact
NCDC toll-free number: 0800-970000-10
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu
National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control