“I declare today a localized epidemic of yellow fever in the provinces of Kinshasa, Kongo Central and Kwango,” said Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Health Minister Felix Kabange Monday, according to a Reuters report.
This comes after the country has reported 67 cases of the mosquito borne viral disease, including seven locally transmitted cases. 58 cases are classified as “imported” from Angola, where the outbreak has grown to more than 3100 suspected cases and 345 fatalities.
Late last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization said the yellow fever vaccine given as one fifth of the regular dose could be used to control an outbreak in case of vaccine shortages.
This approach, known as fractional dosing, is under consideration as a short-term measure, in the context of a potential vaccine shortage for use in emergencies.
The outbreaks in Angola, Uganda and DRC have taken its toll of yellow fever vaccine supplies. Almost 18 million doses had been distributed for emergency vaccination campaigns in the 3 countries.
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