The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) have continued to support the response to an outbreak of yellow fever among residents and recent visitors to Alkaleri Local Government Area (LGA) in Bauchi State.
Since the confirmation of the first case of yellow fever linked to Alkaleri LGA on the 29th of August 2019, there have been 15 laboratory confirmed cases of yellow fever, from 169 clinically suspected cases as at the 11th of September 2019. Further testing of samples is going on at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
A national Emergency Operations Centre was activated on the 5th of September 2019, to coordinate the response to this outbreak. Since the onset of the outbreak, epidemiologists, and other health professionals in both NCDC and NPHCDA have worked in support of the State public health teams of the affected States. Further support for the outbreak response has also been received from the World Health Organization and UNICEF to respond to the outbreak.
A national rapid response team has been deployed to Bauchi State to support the State with further in-depth investigations, including case finding, risk communications, management of cases and preparation for a reactive vaccination campaign.
A vaccination campaign targeting 500,000 residents of Alkaleri and contiguous LGAs is being implemented.
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 of the yellow fever vaccine protects for a lifetime. The yellow fever vaccine is available for free in all primary healthcare centres in Nigeria as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. We encourage every family to ensure that children receive all their childhood vaccines.
In addition to the vaccine, the public is advised to keep their environments clean and free of stagnant water to discourage the breeding of mosquitoes and ensure the consistent use of insecticide treated mosquito nets, screens on windows and doors to prevent access for mosquitoes. Especially, hikers, park visitors and people engaged with activities in the wild are encouraged to be vaccinated against yellow fever. It is important to avoid self-medication – visit a health facility immediately if you feel ill.
Healthcare workers and members of the public are reminded that the symptoms of yellow fever include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain. If you have these symptoms or notice someone in your community displaying them, please contact your nearest primary healthcare centre.