Yellow fever in Ghana

News and Press Release
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3 February 2012 - On 20 December 2011, the Ministry of Health of Ghana notified WHO of a yellow fever (YF) outbreak occurring in 3 districts; Builsa and Kassena-Nankana-West in the Upper East Region and Kitampo-South in the Brong Ahafo Region located in the mid-western part of the country.

A total of three laboratory-confirmed cases, including two deaths, have been detected by yellow fever surveillance, with the clinical syndrome of fever and jaundice.

The index case, reported from the Kassena-Nankana-West district, was a 12 year-old male who had been going with his father to his farm in a forest bordering Burkina Faso. Onset of symptoms occurred on 11 October 2011 and progressively got worse until he died in Sandema Hospital on 18 October 2011. District outbreak teams investigated the affected areas but found no additional cases.

A reactive campaign has been planned starting 6 February 2012, supported by the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) and the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). Over 235 000 people in the affected districts have been targeted for vaccination, with the exclusion of pregnant women and children aged under one year.

This activity will complement the two-phased YF preventive mass campaign undertaken by the country. The first phase was conducted in November 2011 and targeted a population of 5.8 million people covering 40 districts (8 regions). A YF reactive campaign was carried out in 3 more districts. The second phase, planned for this year, seeks to target 1.7 million people spanning 17 districts.