UN health officials report in Cameroon, a total of nine presumptive cases of yellow fever, including three deaths (case fatality rate 33 %), tested positive by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) at the Centre Pasteur in Cameroun (CPC) through August 9 this year.
These cases originated from six different regions with a total of nine health districts (HDs) affected:
Adamaoua region (Ngaoundere rural HD), Far North region (Maga, Mogode, Yagoua HD), Littoral region (Yabassi HD), North region (Guider, Garoua 1 HDs), North-West region (Bamenda HD), and Centre region (Eséka HD).
Cameroon is among the countries classified as high risk for yellow fever according to the Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics Global Strategy (EYE strategy) with a history of yellow fever outbreaks (1930s-2013).
The low vaccination coverage poses a risk of rapid spread of yellow fever in Cameroon. Coverage shows a suboptimal national immunization coverage for yellow fever vaccine of 57%. Only 35% of districts achieved 80% routine immunization coverage in 2018, 27% in 2019, and 28% in 2020.
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that spreads through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
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.
There are no medications to treat or cure yellow fever. Yellow fever vaccine is the best protection against this disease.