International spread of yellow fever in West Africa

The yellow fever situation in West Africa has become more complicated. In Angola, the outbreak that has infected several thousand people and killed several hundred has spread from the original site in Luanda to 16 out of the 18 Angolan provinces. This outbreak is called urban yellow fever since the virus moved from forest mosquitoes (sylvatic or jungle yellow fever) to urban mosquitoes.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, several cases were detected in Kinshasa and Central Congo Province. It was reported that all these people were infected while travelling in Angola. Whether or not there is a new area of transmission remains to be confirmed.

In Uganda, the disease has appeared in Masaka, Ntungamo and Rukungiri Districts. Whether these cases are urban yellow fever related to the outbreaks in nearby countries or separate jungle yellow fever cases remains to be clarified. There is considerable population movement, so that an infected traveller might spread the illness along well travelled roads.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Yellow Fever.

Advice For Travellers

Yellow fever outbreaks are occurring in 3 countries. All travellers to these countries should be vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to travelling. In addition, travellers should take all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Travellers are reminded that many other countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival for all travellers equal to or greater than 9-12 months of age arriving from a country where there is a risk of yellow fever.

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