Barely a month after another wave of yellow fever broke out in Nigeria, atleast 172 have been confirmed dead and several others battling for survival across the country.
AS learnt, the outbreak has further affected the country’s healthcare system as the nation deals with Covid-19 pandemic, several concurrent disease outbreaks and a humanitarian crisis in the north-eastern part of the country.
Confirming the death toll, World Health Organisation (WHO), spokesman, Tarik Jasarevic, during an interview with newsmen yesterday, noted that five states were mostly affected by the disease,
The organisation’s spokesman, during an interview in Geneva, stated that over 530 suspected cases of yellow fever have been recorded across the country since its outbreak last month, November 24.
Jasarevic said: “As of November 24, the outbreak has been reported in five states in Nigeria: Delta, Enugu, Bauchi, Benue and Ebonyi. And a total of 530 suspected cases have been reported, including 48 that have been confirmed by lab testing. Aside from these, a total of 172 deaths have been reported out of those 530 suspected cases”.
He said sample testing was ongoing through national reference laboratories to prevent further spread of the disease across the country.
The spokesman said Nigerian national and state authorities were focused on the Covid-19 pandemic response, limiting the human resources required to conduct investigations and response activities for the yellow fever outbreaks.
It was gathered that the capacity has been increased in certain hospitals to help manage patients who develop yellow fever symptoms and complications.
The spokesman stated that currently, 16 of Nigeria’s 36 states and the federal capital territory have completed vaccination campaigns, while six more states were expected to do so in the first quarter of 2021, with a further six set to do so by the end of next year, bringing the total to 28.
The percentage of people immunised against yellow fever remains low in many parts of Africa, even though the vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective and relatively cheap.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, which is largely transmitted in urban settings by mosquitoes.