The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said investigation into the yellow fever outbreak in Ebonyi State revealed about 20 deaths, with 78 cases confirmed in Nigeria in its laboratory test.
The agency spoke to The Guardian in response to news of the death of 16 people, with several receiving treatment at the Virology Centre and Iboko General Hospital in the state.The agency said, following report of cases and deaths from fever of unknown origin in Izzi Local Government in Ebonyi, the state public health team commenced investigation, where it was discovered that between May 1 and August 7, 2019, there had been cases that fit into the case definition for yellow fever, with 20 deaths in the affected local government indicating that the outbreak may have been going on for some months undetected.
The investigation, according to the agency, was led by Ebonyi State Epidemiology Team, with its support and that of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO).It maintained that as at July 31, 2019, three cases had tested positive for yellow fever at NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory, which triggered an immediate response.
Similarly, the NCDC said: “Yellow fever virus is spread through bites of an infected mosquito. There is no human-to-human transmission of the virus. Yellow fever is a completely vaccine preventable disease and a single shot provides immunity for a lifetime.
“The yellow fever vaccine is available for free in primary health care centres in Nigeria, as part of the routine immunisation schedule. Every child is protected for life if vaccinated. We encourage every family to ensure that children receive all their childhood vaccines.
“In addition, the public is advised to keep environments clean and free of stagnant water to discourage breeding of mosquitoes and use insecticide treated mosquito nets, screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquito bites. “It is important to avoid self-medication and visit a health facility immediately, if you feel ill.” The symptoms of yellow fever include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain.