WHO Calls Emergency Meeting On Yellow Fever Outbreak

The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting Thursday on the yellow fever outbreak that has hit hardest in Angola but risks spreading further if vaccinations are not ramped up.

Such meetings from the UN agency are often held before the declaration of an international health emergency, as happened amid the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the current surge in neurological disorders linked to the spread of Zika virus in the Americas.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP the meeting had been called to underscore the severity of the yellow fever outbreak and to re-emphasise the need for mass vaccination against the viral disease.

As of May 12, Angola had reported 2,267 suspected yellow fever cases and 293 deaths in an outbreak that began in December and is most heavily concentrated in the capital Luanda.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has registered 44 suspected cases, both from a local outbreak and from patients who carried the virus from neighbouring Angola.

Eleven people have tested positive for yellow fever in China after returning from Angola, highlighting “the risk of international spread through non-immunised travellers,” WHO has said.

Several cases have also been reported in Uganda.

The percentage of people immunised against yellow fever remains low in many parts of Africa, even though the vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective and relatively cheap.

WHO has sent 11.7 million doses to Angola and there are plans to vaccinate 2.2 million people in DR Congo.

WHO has pledged to beef up its emergency response systems after widespread criticism following the Ebola outbreak, with many experts saying it took the UN body far too long to sound a global alarm.

Credit: Guardian

Death Toll From Yellow Fever In Angola Rises To 158 – WHO

The Yellow Fever outbreak in Angola that began late last year has killed up to 158 people, an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has said.


The official, Mr Hernando Ospina, WHO representative in the country made the statement on Friday in Luanda.


He said that Luanda and other cities in the country had also recorded increase in the infection rate of malaria, cholera and chronic diarrhea.


He said that health officials in the country attributed the reason to breakdown in sanitation services and rubbish collection.

He said that city authorities had slashed their budget for rubbish collection to cope with budget crisis.

He said that this had resulted in accumulation of waste in poorer suburbs including Viana, where the first case of yellow fever was reported in late December.

“This is an urban pattern of outbreak of Yellow Fever and it is much more complicated to tackle and deal with.

“The possibility of spreading out to other provinces or even to all the country is much higher than if it had happened in a rural area,’ Ospina said.


Angola relies on crude exports for around 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings.


A sharp decline in oil prices since mid-2014 had hobbled Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, sending the country’s currency (kwanza) plummeting that necessitated deep cuts in public spending.



Yellow Fever Outbreak In Angola Kills 37, Infects 191

A yellow fever outbreak in Angola has killed 37 people since December with eight new cases reported in the last 24 hours, the country’s national director of health Adelaide de Carvalho says.

The outbreak of yellow fever, which is transmitted by mosquito bites, began in the Luanda suburb of Viana but has spread to other areas of the southern African country with 191 people infected so far.

Symptoms of yellow fever include sudden fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. God
help them.