Yellow fever: 300 cases and 66 deaths reported in West and Central Africa in 2021

Since the beginning of 2021 and as of December 20, there have been 300 probable and 88 laboratory confirmed cases of yellow fever (YF), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Among the probable cases, there have been 66 deaths reported from six countries; Ghana (42); Cameroon (8); Chad (8); Nigeria (4); Congo (2); Democratic Republic of Congo (2), the overall case fatality ratio (CFR) among the probable cases is 22%.

Among the affected countries, some are classified as having a fragile, conflict-affected or vulnerable (FCV) setting, in addition to low YF population immunity. Identified gaps or delays in investigations of suspected YF cases due to insecurity (Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic) or under-served nomadic communities (Ghana) have implications for harm to human health and risk of onward amplification and spread.

Vaccination is the primary means for prevention and control of yellow fever. In urban centres, targeted vector control measures are also helpful to interrupt transmission. WHO recommends vaccination against yellow fever for all international travellers 9 months of age or older going to yellow fever high risk countries. The affected countries also require a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers aged 9 months or over.

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