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Yellow Fever Epidemic Eradicated In Angola

By Duna Bil , Dec 23, 2016 08:33 AM EST
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After decades of battle against Yellow Fever, Angola finally declares victory against the disease. This latest announcement came today after a nationwide vaccination effort led by the U.N. (United Nations), and coordinated by the WHO, resulted in the eradication of the disease.

No new reports of the disease in were reported in 6 months after 25 million people were vaccinated. This is a great victory that resulted from the overwhelming joint effort including the response activities from local health workers, WHO (World Health Organization), and health authorities.

The nationwide and international efforts were strengthened after the December 2015 outbreak wherein 962 were confirmed cases and 400 people died in total.

Originating from the capital city, Luanda, the outbreak spread throughout the country and even to parts of the closest neighboring country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The epidemic continued to ravage these regions, largely affecting the population for months, Relief Web  reports.

Yellow Fever is a mosquito-borne disease, much like Malaria and Dengue fever. "Yellow" in its name is attributed by the color of jaundice seen in most patients. Other symptoms include headache, fever, and vomiting.

To respond to the urgent need for A global stockpile of vaccines from various health organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, and WHO. With 41,000 volunteers and 8,000 vaccinating teams, 15 million Angolans and 10 million Congolese were given treatment for Yellow Fever.

The vaccination activity drained the global stockpile of the vaccines which prompted the doctors to use only one fifth of the required dose to. This shift in dose will likely give only temporary protection according to WHO as reported in Yahoo.   

The outbreak was contributed largely to the shift in climate such as the El Nino as warm weather provides a favorable environment for the mosquitoes to propagate. Urbanization also accounted for the epidemic as it provides opportunities for the disease to spread even faster.

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