The South Sudan Ministry of Health on Thursday declared a Yellow Fever (YF) outbreak in Sakure, Nzara County, Gbudue state.

Addressing a press conference in Juba, Hon. Ms Awut Deng Acuil, the Acting Minister of Health, urged the general public to be vaccinated against yellow fever to protect themselves from the risk of yellow fever virus.

south sudanThe suspected case was first reported on 23 November 2018, after the State Ministry of Health (SMoH) received a report of a suspected case of Ebola at the point of entry (PoE) in Sakure, a border town between the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Following the reported suspect case, the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO and partners, deployed a rapid response team (RRT) composed of, SMoH Director-General, medical officer, Laboratory staff, nurse, WHO and other partners from Yambio Ebola Taskforce, for in-depth investigations as well as sample collection.

The preliminary GeneXpert testing at the National Public Health Laboratory was negative for Ebola Zaire. In the same way, follow up Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing in the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Entebbe was negative for all Ebola species, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, and Sosuga viruses.  Further testing of the sample at UVRI using Taqman Array Card platform and YF-specific PCR assay confirmed that the sample was PCR positive for Yellow Fever Virus.

The confirmation of the case automatically triggers the activation of the Yellow Fever Incident Management System (IMS) with an incident manager designated to coordinate response to this event including risk communication, surveillance and disease control to prevent further spread of the disease, said the Under Secretary, the Ministry of Health, Dr Makur Matur Koriom.

To enhance outbreak response efforts, the Ministry of Health will also send the national rapid response team to conduct follow up epidemiological; entomological; and laboratory investigations.

Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes species. Yellow fever can lead to serious illness and even death. Yellow fever vaccine is the best protection against yellow fever disease, which can be fatal.