Fatal yellow fever threatens the world


Yellow fever is already present in African countries and so on could be extended to North and South America, Europe and Asia.

The biggest epidemic of yellow fever in the last decades currently reigns in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, and could soon spread to North and South America, Asia and Europe, warned the organization “Save the Children”.

Unit for urgent health situations “EHU”, which under this charitable organization for fast action, is sent on the field as a support of the Ministry of Health in implementing the mass vaccination campaign in the capital of Congo, Kinshasa.

This campaign is part of the first line of defense and aims to stop the spread of the deadly virus in this overcrowded city with more than 10 million people.

The outbreak of yellow fever, a disease which is transmitted by mosquitoes, is the largest which hit the region in the last 30 years and almost emptied global supply of vaccines for emergency states according to “Save The Children” organization. The campaign for vaccination has available a total of seven million vaccines for emergencies – too little for Kinshasa, and not even mentioning the whole Congo.

The virus enters the hemorrhagic fevers and so far caused the death of 500 people and a thousand people have been infected. Alarmingly, the World Health Organization warns that these figures could be 10 to 50 times larger.

Yellow fever is spread by the mosquitoes, and in cities with high temperature as Kinsasha, the transmitting of the disease is very fast. To have in mind that the rain season begins next month when is expected the number of the mosquitoes to be rapidly increased.

“There is no cure for yellow fever and because of that it could be a global problem. The campaign for mass vaccination in Kinshasa must happen immediately to try to prevent the spread of yellow fever on land and air in cities in Africa and the world”, says Heather Kerr, director of “Save The Children” in Congo.

A team of experts

WHO team is composed of 11 members which include experts from countries such as Italy, China, South Korea and the United States. They will provide support for the campaign, which runs the Ministry of Health of Congo, which aims to vaccinate half a million people in the capital.

“It is necessary to vaccinate as many children and families with the reserves that are available and this is the only way to make it this far. We can only hope it will be enough to prevent further spread of the epidemic”, added Kerr.

During this outbreak of yellow fever, nearly 20 percent of those who are infected died of the disease. In the last stage, the disease can cause bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, and organ failure.