Tuesday, August 28, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Yellow fever - Africa (12): Republic of Congo

YELLOW FEVER - AFRICA (12): REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
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Date: Tue 28 Aug 2018
Source: Reuters [edited]
<https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-yellowfever-congorepublic/congo-republic-confirms-yellow-fever-near-angolan-enclave-idUSKCN1LD1KN>


Congo Republic has confirmed a case of yellow fever near the border
with an Angolan enclave, the health ministry said on Tuesday [28 Aug
2018], and has warned of "an emerging event of epidemic proportions."

In all, 186 suspected cases have been detected this year [2018], many
of which were in the western commercial hub of Pointe Noire, the head
of the government's epidemics unit, Lambert Kitembo told Reuters.

He said 8 blood samples were sent to Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) for testing last month [July 2018], one of which came back
positive. It was then officially confirmed last week at a laboratory
in Senegal.

The sometimes deadly mosquito-borne virus causes fever, body aches and
nausea and can quickly spread in areas with large unvaccinated
populations.

A major outbreak in 2016 in Angola and the DRC killed more than 400
people and was believed to have infected thousands more before it was
brought under control through an extensive vaccination campaign.

The confirmed victim in the case of yellow fever in Congo Republic had
traveled in Tchiamba Nzassi district, which lies along the border with
the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, 2 weeks prior to the onset of his
symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a weekly
report.

No deaths have been reported, but the situation is being taken
seriously by health officials, Kitembo said. He did not say whether
authorities had plans to test other blood samples.

"Congo, in general, and the departments of Pointe Noire and Koulou in
particular ... are experiencing since the start of 2018 an emerging
event of epidemic proportions," the health ministry said in a
statement dated last week.

The WHO said that the confirmed case was detected early last month
[July 2018] at a health center in Pointe Noire, where the patient with
fever and jaundice was admitted for treatment.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[The number of suspected cases has gone up from 70 yesterday [27 Aug
2018] to 186 mentioned above. There is now one laboratory
confirmation. As noted in the previous post, this outbreak is fairly
widely distributed geographically across 5 health districts. The dates
on which these suspected cases were diagnosed are not given, so we do
not have a picture of the time frame of this outbreak. None of these
cases resulted in deaths. It is difficult to assess the risk of an
ongoing outbreak without knowing the proportion of the unvaccinated
population in the areas where the cases occurred. One hopes that a
vigorous vaccination campaign will be initiated as soon as possible.
Yellow fever outbreaks can quickly get out of hand, as occurred in
Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016-2017. - Mod.TY

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Republic of Congo: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/166>]

[See Also:
Yellow fever - Africa (11): Republic of Congo
http://promedmail.org/post/20180827.5991108
2017
----
Yellow fever - Africa (01): Angola, Congo DR
http://promedmail.org/post/20170214.4839830]
.................................................ty/msp/dk
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