The countries of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have already reported outbreaks of the serious mosquito borne viral disease, yellow fever. Kenya and China have reported imported cases from Angola.

Map of Uganda/Alvaro1984 18
Map of Uganda/Alvaro1984 18

Today, news reports say that Uganda has confirmed seven yellow fever cases in the central region in the past week. The confirmed and suspected cases have been admitted to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for treatment.

A yellow fever vaccination campaign is scheduled to commence within a week.

It is not clear if these cases are related to the mystery outbreak reported earlier this month that killed four and sickened several others in Buwunga sub-county.

In an article published earlier today in Nature, author Declan Butler writes: The immediate concern is that the virus might spread to larger African urban centres, as happened in the biggest previous outbreak, which began in 1986 in Nigeria and ultimately infected 116,000 people and killed 24,000.

He continues: The fear is that yellow fever could follow the same path as other less-severe mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika, which have already seen major urban epidemics tied to the resurgence of Aedes mosquitoes.

Then of course there is Asia, which has the mosquito vector and a warm climate. Yellow fever has never been much of an issue in Asia; however, if it was to gain traction, it would be “a public-health disaster”, Butler writes.