In a follow-up on the yellow fever outbreak in Ghana, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports from 15 October to 27 November 2021, 202 suspected cases of yellow fever (YF) including 70 confirmed cases and 35 deaths [Case Fatality Ratio (CFR): 17%] have been reported in four regions in Ghana (Savannah, Upper West, Bono and Oti regions).
The cases, age ranging from 4 months to 70 years, presented with symptoms of body pain, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, jaundice and bleeding from the gums. Females accounted for 52% (105/202) of the cases.
YF cases were reported mostly from nomadic populations who had moved from Nigeria into a forest reserve in Ghana’s Savannah region which is visited by tourists. The region shares porous borders with Cote d’lvoire and Burkina Faso, highlighting the potential for spread outside of Ghana.
Although there is high overall population immunity against YF in Ghana (88% in 2020 according to WHO-UNICEF estimates), pockets of the population, including unvaccinated nomadic people, remain at risk for YF which could result in continued YF transmission. The current outbreak investigation found settlements of newcomer populations who had arrived after the last mass campaign and were largely unvaccinated.
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