Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ECDC Updated Risk Assessment On Africa's Yellow Fever Epidemic


Parts of Africa are seeing their worst Yellow Fever outbreak in decades, and we've seen a small number of exported cases turning up in places like China, raising concerns of international spread.

Two months ago the ECDC issued a rapid risk assessment on the Angola outbreak (see Yellow Fever In Angola & The Risk Of International Spread - ECDC), which warned:

As yellow fever and dengue fever share the same mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, any area where dengue has been transmitted could be suitable for establishment of local transmission of yellow fever if the virus is introduced by a viraemic traveller.

Theoretically, this shouldn't be much of a problem, as countries with competent vectors (Aedes mosquitoes) are supposed to require a yellow fever vaccination for travelers going to or returning from areas were the virus is endemic. 

But in actual practice, some countries have been less than diligent in enforcing this requirement, and fake Yellow Fever vaccination certificates are reportedly pretty common. 

Today the ECDC has published a new, updated risk assessment, which finds `the risk of exporting the virus to other countries is high'.

Rapid risk assessment: Outbreaks of yellow fever in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, first update

30 May 2016
Available as PDF in English


​The current epidemic of yellow fever, an acute viral haemorrhagic vector-borne disease, which has seen outbreaks in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, highlights the risk of infection for unvaccinated travellers. There is also a risk of further international spread through introduction of the virus into areas with a competent vector and susceptible populations.

Given that outbreaks of yellow fever in urban settings have the potential for rapid spread and that significant yellow fever epidemics are ongoing in Angola, DRC and Uganda, this risk assessment evaluates the risk of yellow fever infection being introduced into Europe and sets out a range of options for response.

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