WHO issues Sudan yellow fever outbreak update

The World Health Organization issued a Global Alert and Response on Tuesday after Sudan's Federal Ministry of Health informed the organization of a yellow fever outbreak in 23 localities in Greater Darfur.

As of Sunday, the country reported 329 suspected cases of yellow fever and 97 deaths. Most of the suspected cases are from South and Central Darfur. WHO officials confirmed the outbreak at its regional reference laboratory for yellow fever.

The organization is providing support for the FMOH by standardizing clinical case management, strengthening epidemiological surveillance and conducting entomological assessment. The WHO is also mobilizing community leaders to raise awareness about yellow fever in the affected communities.

Sudan's government requested that the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision provide support for a reactive campaign for mass vaccination. The YF-ICG approved the use of 2.4 million vaccine doses which will arrive in the country shortly.

Sudan and the WHO anticipate that the emergency vaccination campaign will begin soon in the affected regions to protect at risk populations and halt the spread of the disease.

The YF-ICG includes representatives from the WHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Médecins sans Frontières and the United Nations Children's Fund.