The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that a Yellow Fever outbreak is currently active in Nigeria with confirmed cases recorded in 14 States – Kwara, Kogi, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Katsina, Edo, Ekiti, Rivers, Anambra, FCT, and Benue States. According to the authorities, Nigeria has recorded 1,640 suspected cases of Yellow Fever with 41 confirmed cases.
Yellow Fever is an acute, viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. This means it is very serious and can induce bleeding when severe. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa as well as Central and South America.
Diagnosis is done by laboratory testing.
The most effective way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites during the day and night. Vaccination provides lifelong immunity to Yellow Fever.
- Wear clothing that covers arms and legs
- Use safe insect repellents especially for pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors i.e. use insecticides safely, fix holes in nets, use air conditioning if available and destroy mosquito breeding areas in your surroundings.
- Fever and chills
- Severe headache
- Back pain and body aches
- General weakness
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Most people with the initial symptoms improve within one week. A few people will develop a more severe form of the disease.
For 1 out of 7 people who have the initial symptoms, there will be a brief remission (a time you feel better) that may last only a few hours or for a day, followed by a more severe form of the disease.
Symptoms in severe cases can include
- High fever
- Bleeding and shock
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Organ failure
Remember, the Yellow Fever vaccine confers life-long immunity against the disease.
There is no cure for Yellow Fever, the only treatment available is management and alleviation of the symptoms. Good and early supportive treatment in hospitals greatly improves survival rates.
Rest, drink fluids, and use pain relievers and medication to reduce fever and relieve aching.
If you notice any symptoms, please do not panic; just go to the nearest health facility for supportive care.
Yellow fever is not infectious from person to person, it is transmitted only through mosquito bites.
There is an Immunization Outreach going on in all public health centers and the vaccines are harmless. Everyone is encouraged to get immunized.
Please share widely to help others. Questions? Please ask below in the comments.