The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Nigeria last week because of an outbreak of yellow fever, first reported in November 2020.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is reporting yellow fever outbreaks in multiple states (Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, and Enugu) as confirmed by testing at the Nigerian National Reference Laboratory. Response activities are underway and mass vaccination campaigns are planned in the affected areas.
Unless vaccinated, travelers should not visit these areas.
From 1 January 2021 to 28 February 2022, a total of 2,456 yellow fever (YF) suspected cases were reported from 526 Local Government Areas (LGA) in 37 states in Nigeria. Of suspected cases, 54 tested positive for YF by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) at Institut Pasteur in Dakar.
Fifteen (28%) of the 54 confirmed cases were from Enugu State.
Three deaths were reported among confirmed cases.
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever.
Symptoms of yellow fever (fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches) develop 3-6 days after infection. About 15% of people infected with yellow fever virus will develop severe illness that can lead to liver disease, bleeding, shock, organ failure, yellowing skin (jaundice), and sometimes death.
Diagnosis is based on symptoms, laboratory testing, and travel history. Yellow fever virus spreads through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
CDC says here are no medications to treat or cure yellow fever. Yellow fever vaccine is the best protection against this disease. Travelers should also use mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
Although the government of Nigeria only requires that travelers arriving from another country where yellow fever occurs to show proof of vaccination, CDC recommends that all travelers 9 months or older going to Nigeria should receive vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days before travel. Yellow fever is always a risk when travelling in Nigeria, and even more so while yellow fever outbreaks are occurring. A signed and stamped International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP or “Yellow Card”) provides proof of vaccination.