MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Sweeping yellow fever vaccination efforts undertaken in Cameroon

Cameroon's Ministry of Health recently reported that 94 percent of the Republic of Cameroon's high-risk population for yellow fever were vaccinated between August and September.

GAVI Alliance and the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision supported the sweeping vaccination campaign after two cases of yellow fever were confirmed in April. The effort targeted 663,900 people who live in 13 of the country's health districts in the Littoral region.

Laboratory tests conducted by the Institute Pasteur of Cameroon and the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, which serves as a regional health office for the World Health Organization, verified the two cases of yellow fever in March.

Cameroon also experienced an outbreak of yellow fever in 2012. Cases were reported across the country's southwest region. Cases were identified by a public health surveillance system that pinpoints patients who experience a high fever and appear jaundice within the virus' 14-day onset timeframe.

The surveillance system is operated through the WHO, with assistance and field investigation conducted by local public health officials.

More than 200,000 cases of yellow fever lead to more than 30,000 deaths worldwide per year. The virus is fatal in approximately 50 percent of people who are infected and do not receive treatment, according to the WHO.