Yellow Fever outbreak in Congo and Angola
News of a major outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted in a warning from Save the Children that, unless contained urgently, it could spread around the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a major emergency vaccination programmes in Africa in an effort to contain the virus, spread by mosquitos. The programme, which begins this week, will aim to vaccinate more that 14 million people in over 8000 locations, aimed at halting the virus. According to WHO, over 400 people have already died from the outbreak.
The World Health Organisation first announced the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Luanda, the capital of Angola, in February. From there the virus spread to Congo.
According to the Associated Press, more than 18 million vaccines have been sent to Africa but this falls considerably short of the 40 million experts believe is necessary to contain the outbreak.
The Examiner reports that Save The Children is sending a rapid reaction unit to support vaccinations in Congo. The aid agency warns that the epidemic could soon spread to the Americas, Asia and Europe and other cities in Africa if not contained rapidly. According to Heather Kerry, Save the Children’s country director for Congo, “There is no known cure for yellow fever and it could go global.”
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