Responding to Yellow Fever Outbreak in Nigeria
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies. In line with this, NCDC has been leading the public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria as well as maintaining continued epidemic intelligence around other epidemic-prone diseases such as yellow fever (YF), cholera, Lassa fever (including other viral haemorrhagic fevers), measles, cholera etc.
On the 1st and 2nd of November, the Delta and Enugu State Ministries of Health, respectively, notified the NCDC of clusters of cases and deaths – with cases having symptoms such as fever, bloodshot eyes, convulsions etc. In a swift response to this, samples from the states were sent to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory (NRL) and confirmed positive for yellow fever. This was followed by the immediate deployment of rapid response teams (RRTs) and activation of a national multi-sectoral emergency operations centres (EOCs) to support outbreak investigations and response activities in the affected states. The EOCs in affected states have also been activated for state-level coordination and synergy with the national EOC.
As of 22nd November 2020, a total of 40 cases have been confirmed with 10 deaths recorded in Delta, Enugu, Bauchi, Benue and Ebonyi States. The NCDC is currently supporting affected state to:
Enhance active case search and other surveillance activities
Intensify risk communication and sensitise the public on preventive measures for yellow fever
Transport samples from the affected states to the six in-country laboratories for YF serology testing
Support infection prevention and control activities and provide case management guidelines
Following further risk assessments, alerts have been sent to states sharing boundaries with the outbreak LGAs i.e. Edo, Kogi, Jigawa and Gombe States. These States are strongly advised to intensify surveillance and risk communication activities towards curtailing further spread of the disease.
Yellow fever is a vaccine-preventable disease and the YF vaccine is available for free in all primary healthcare centres in Nigeria as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. It is very important that Nigerians ensure their children receive the yellow fever vaccine which provides safety against the disease for life. NCDC is working collaboratively with NPHCDA to conduct reactive and accelerated yellow fever mass campaign. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, please visit a health facility and request for the yellow fever vaccine. The virus is spread by mosquito bites, so it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Finally, please protect yourself and your families by keeping your environment clean, covering your food to prevent contact with rodents, washing your hands regularly and adhering to public health guidance. If you feel ill, please avoid self-medication and visit a health facility.
Summary of Incidents
Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports
Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only
Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data
CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed
Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory