Guinea + 2 more

Guinea: Yellow fever kills 24

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ABIDJAN, 4 February (IRIN) - An outbreak of yellow fever in Guinea had killed 24 people by 23 January out of 43 cases in southern Guinea's Macenta and Kerouane prefectures, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Monday. The Ministry of Public Health of Guinea reported the cases and laboratory confirmation was done by the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal and Lyon, France.
"A mass vaccination campaign has begun in Macenta and nearby prefectures, targetting 600,000 people," WHO said. "WHO and partners including Médecins sans Frontières Belgium, France and Switzerland are assisting the Ministry of Public Health with operational and technical assistance, vaccine and vaccine supplies for the campaign."

Macenta is near the Liberian border, while Kerouane is nearer to the border with Cote d'Ivoire. Thousands of Liberian refugees have lived in Macenta.

An effective vaccine for yellow fever has been available for 60 years, but the number of people infected over the last 20 years has increased and the viral disease fever is now once again a serious public health issue, according to WHO.

Some 33 countries, with a population of 508 million, are at risk in Africa. Each year, about 200,000 people worldwide contract yellow fever and some 30,000 of them die.

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