We've been following the Yellow Fever (YF) outbreak in Africa now since early February, starting in Angola and then moving into the DRC a month later. Uganda, meanwhile, is dealing with a separate Yellow Fever outbreak, not epidemiologically linked to the DRC or Angola outbreak.
With an incubation period of 3 to 6 days (cite CDC's Yellow Book), and a high number of unvaccinated international travelers, we've seen exported cases turn up in both China and Kenya.
The ECDC's assessment on the The Risk Of International Spread warned of greater international spread of Yellow Fever, and while the risks to most of Europe are considered low, the same cannot be said for other parts of the world where competent vectors (Aedes mosquitoes) are more common.
Yesterday the JAMA Network carried a lengthy backgrounder and viewpoint, calling on the WHO to convene an Emergency Committee meeting of the IHR to consider this threat, and further calling on the WHO to:
` . . . establish a standing emergency committee to meet regularly to advise the director-general whether to declare an emergency, take necessary steps to avert a crisis, or both.'
Follow the link to read the article in its entirety.
JAMA. Published online May 09, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6606
More than 7 million Angolans have been vaccinated, but supply shortages could potentially lead to a health security crisis if yellow fever spreads within Africa, Asia (which has never experienced a yellow fever epidemic), or the Americas (where Aedes mosquito vectors transmit yellow fever as well as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya). The Pan American Health Organization declared an epidemiological alert on April 22, 2016, for yellow fever in Latin America.2The WHO should urgently convene an emergency committee to mobilize funds, coordinate an international response, and spearhead a surge in vaccine production. Prior delays by the WHO in convening emergency committees for the Ebola virus, and possibly the ongoing Zika epidemic, cost lives and should not be repeated.3 Acting proactively to address the evolving yellow fever epidemic is imperative.