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SASTM Newsflash - Yellow Fever - Africa: Ethiopia and Niger


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SASTM Newsflash




Update: Ethiopia and Niger


This updates the previous clinical update of 21 Feb 2013. In Africa, 34 countries are considered at risk of yellow fever. In February 2013, NaTHNaC [National Travel Health Network and Centre] reported on confirmed cases in Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Togo.

Since then, in March 2013, cases of yellow fever have also been reported from Niger and Ethiopia.



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As of 15 Apr 2013, a yellow fever case has been confirmed in Diffa district, Niger. A mass-vaccination campaign has not been conducted in the district, however, an extensive epidemiological investigation is ongoing together with active case searching to identify additional suspected cases.



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As of 7 May 2013, 6 confirmed cases of yellow fever have been reported from South Omo, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' region in Ethiopia. The Ministry of Health in Ethiopia is launching an emergency mass-vaccination campaign on 10 Jun 2013 in 6 districts: Benatsemay, Gnangatom, Hammer, North Ari, Selamago, South Ari, and one administrative town (Jinka) in the South Omo Zone of the Southern Nations.


Advice for health professionals

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Under International Health Regulations (2005) countries are no longer required to automatically report YF outbreaks to WHO. Surveillance and reporting in YF risk countries can be poor. When undertaking YF risk assessment, health professionals should refer to individual country information where details relating to YF disease risk areas and recommendations for YF vaccination are given.


In addition, health professionals are encouraged to access the NaTHNaC Outbreak Surveillance Database where verified and unverified outbreaks of YF are posted, as well as newly published guidance on the recommendations for the use of yellow fever vaccination booster dose.


Advice for travellers

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YF is transmitted to non-human primates or humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. In Africa, the virus is transmitted via the bite of _Aedes_ spp. mosquitoes that feed predominantly during daylight hours.


Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures and seek advice regarding YF vaccination before travelling to YF risk areas. YF vaccination is recommended for personal protection for all travellers aged 9 months and older to countries with a risk of YF.


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South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

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The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

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