The number of fatalities associated with theyellow fever outbreak in Central, South and West Darfur, has more than doubled in the past week according to an AFP report Nov. 6.
According to a joint report from the Sudan Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday, 194 suspected yellow fever cases have been reported, including 67 deaths.
This is up from 84 suspected cases, including 32 deaths on Oct. 29.
In addition, the number of districts reporting cases has increased from nine last Friday to 17 today.
A yellow fever vaccination campaign is slated to begin in early December.
According to the WHO, yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. The yellow fever virus is an arbovirus of the flavivirus genus, and the mosquito is the primary vector. It carries the virus from one host to another, primarily between monkeys, from monkeys to humans, and from person-to-person.
Once contracted, the virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days, followed by infection that can occur in one or two phases. The first acute phase usually causes fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Most patients improve and their symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days.
One confirmed case of yellow fever in an unvaccinated population should be considered an outbreak and a confirmed case in any context must be fully investigated, particularly in any area where most of the population has been vaccinated.
There is no specific treatment for the viral illness found in tropical regions of Africa but it can be contained using bed nets, insect repellents and long clothing.
Prevention of this viral disease is through vaccination.
As a side note, in addition to the yellow fever outbreak in Darfur, North Darfur is also reporting a spike in measles in the past week.
Measles cases in North Darfur has increased to 77, as opposed to the 52 cases registered before Eid al-Adha (Oct. 26-28, 2012), according to health officials.