Yellow fever outbreak in Angola: February Health News
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.
Up to 50% of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.
There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever, causing 30 000 deaths, worldwide each year, with 90% occurring in Africa.
The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America, with a combined population of over 900 million
The number of yellow fever cases has increased over the past two decades due to declining population immunity to
infection, deforestation, urbanization, population movements and climate change.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing the symptoms for the
comfort of the patient.
Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and
highly effective, and a single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long
protection against yellow fever disease and a booster dose of yellow fever vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of persons vaccinated.