Ghana reports yellow fever outbreak

The Ministry of Ghana reported a yellow fever outbreak in three districts on December 20, included three laboratory confirmed cases and two deaths.

The outbreaks occurred in the Kassena-Nankana-West and Builsa districts in the Upper East Region and the Kitampo-South district in the Brong Ahafo Region. The index case was a 12-year-old male who was visiting a farm with his father in a forest that borders Burkina Faso.

The adolescent had an onset of symptoms on October 11. The symptoms progressively got worse until his death in Sandema Hospital on October 18. Outbreak teams in the district investigated the areas affected but found no other cases.

The country has begun a reactive campaign supported by the European Community Humanitarian Office and the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision. More than 235,000 people in the districts affected will be vaccinated, with the exclusion of children under one year of age and pregnant women.

The two-phased yellow fever preventative campaign began in November and targeted 40 districts and 5.8 million people. A reactive campaign against yellow fever was also carried out in three other districts. This second phase, planned for 2012, looks to target 17 districts and 1.7 million people.