Yellow fever hits Central and South Darfur

On 29 October 2012, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of a yellow fever outbreak in seven localities in Central and South Darfur. Since the first week of October, a total of 84 suspected cases including 32 deaths have been reported from the districts of Azoom, Kass, Mershing, Nertiti, Nyala, Wadi Salih and Zalingei.

FMoH said that the immediate priority is to control the vector, reinforcing the disease surveillance system and raising public awareness on the prevention and control of this disease. Preparations for a mass vaccination campaign are underway to vaccinate the at risk population in Darfur.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, only supportive care to treat dehydration and fever, and blood transfusion if and when needed. It is a preventable disease with symptoms and severity varying from case to case. Protective measures like the use of bed nets and insect repellent are considered the best ways to contain an outbreak.

Vaccination is the single most important measure for preventing yellow fever.

FMoH, WHO, as well as health partners are working on ground to ensure timely containment of the outbreak.