NCDC Links Delta, Enugu ‘Strange Deaths’ to Yellow Fever

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has attributed the recent strange deaths in Delta and Enugu states to an outbreak of Yellow Fever.

The agency said in a statement yesterday that it is currently supporting the two state governments, in response to suspected outbreak of Yellow Fever.

This followed reports of a sudden spike in cases and deaths in some communities in both states.

“On November 2 and 3, 2020, NCDC was notified by the Ministries of Health of Delta and Enugu states respectively, of cases presenting with symptoms indicative of a viral haemorrhagic fever. Most cases presented with fever, headache, fatigue, jaundice

Vomiting, (with or without blood), among others.

“As at the 6th of November 2020, three samples from Delta and one sample from Enugu tested positive for Yellow Fever at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital Laboratory and NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa. More samples are being tested from both states to confirm the causative organism of this outbreak,” it said.

The statement said that State Epidemiology Teams are leading the response with support from NCDC, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Also it said that an incident management system has been activated by NCDC to coordinate response activities and Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been deployed to both states.

The statement said NCDC and State RRTs are carrying out active case search, risk communications and community engagement as well as ensuring prompt management of cases.

NCDC further said that sister agency, NPHCDA is working with the affected states to plan for a vaccination campaign.

Yellow Fever is a vaccine-preventable disease, and a single shot provides immunity for a lifetime.

It explained that symptoms of the disease include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain.

The yellow fever vaccine is available for free in primary health care centres in Nigeria as part of the national childhood routine immunisation schedule.

The yellow fever virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The centre advised the public to take the following

Precautionary measures to reduce the risk of yellow fever infection: “Keep your environment clean and free of stagnant water to prevent the breeding of

mosquitoes; use insecticide treated mosquito nets and install screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquito bites”.