In the last six weeks more than 100 people have died from yellow fever in the Darfur region of Sudan. Today WHO warned that the disease could spread across the war torn nation.
In just the last week over 35 people died from the yellow fever outbreak.
The outbreak has been reported affecting 23 localities in Greater Darfur. Today WHO said that there were 329 suspected cases including 97 deaths were reported from this outbreak as of Sunday.
Yellow fever has no treatment but does have a vaccine. At this point community leaders are being mobilized to raise awareness of the disease in the affected communities. The Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) has approved 2.4 million doses of vaccine to stop the spread of the disease.
Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms generally develop less than a week from the time a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. According to Toronto Health symptoms of yellow fever include sudden onset of fever, headache, joint pain, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting and dehydration. Most people infected with yellow fever recover after this stage. Fifteen percent of those infected will have severe illness, including shock, internal bleeding, jaundice and organ failure.
The vaccine is not safe for those with a disease that affects their immune system, infants under the age of 6-8 months and adults over 60. It is also not used for pregnant or nursing mothers. It takes about a week to be effective.