Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1099--1100

Continue the intensity of the ongoing prevention and control measures to contain the 2016 outbreak of yellow fever in Angola


Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy 
 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Continue the intensity of the ongoing prevention and control measures to contain the 2016 outbreak of yellow fever in Angola.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1099-1100


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Continue the intensity of the ongoing prevention and control measures to contain the 2016 outbreak of yellow fever in Angola. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Jan 16 ];10:1099-1100
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1099/217528


Full Text



Dear Editor,

Yellow fever has been acknowledged as one of the major public health concerns and has attracted immense global attention due to its potential to spread to any part of the world.[1],[2] The current global epidemiological distribution suggests that the disease is endemic in more than 40 nations and periodic outbreaks have been reported in these nations.[3] Prior to 2010, most of the disease outbreaks have been reported in the West Africa, however, in the current decade, the location of disease has shifted to central and east Africa due to the lack of prophylactic mass vaccination campaign.[1],[2],[3] fact, in response to an initiative of the World Health Organization, in excess of 100 million individuals has been immunized in the last 10 years.[3]

The ongoing outbreak of the disease in Angola has posed serious challenges for the public health authorities and the international welfare agencies owing to its predominance in the urban settings (which is quite uncommon), number of people exposed to the disease, more than 950 confirmed cases being reported, and the spread of the disease to three more nations through unimmunized travelers.[2],[3],[4],[5] Realizing the prevailing challenges (viz. lack of preparedness, shortcomings in the public health sector, resource and logistic constraints, funding issues, millions of susceptible people in the region, lacunae in the surveillance mechanism, poor awareness about the disease among the masses, existing myths about the disease, vaccine shortage, questionable implementation of the International Health Regulations, etc.) and the impact of El Nino in increasing the density of the cluster of mosquitoes in the region, the international agencies in collaboration with the local government are working intensively to control the outbreak.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Maximum impetus has been given to conduct large-scale vaccination campaigns in the affected nations, with 11 million and 2 million vaccine doses being administered to people in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo, since the start of the outbreak in January.[3],[4] Also, it has been estimated to immunize more than 17 million people further in both of these nations before the start of the monsoon. Its aim is to immunize more than four-fifth of the population in the affected districts to eventually interrupt the local transmission of the disease.[4] In addition, support has been extended to strengthen disease surveillance, facilitate early detection, intensify vector control measures, and organize large-scale awareness campaigns in the nations.[2],[3],[4] Further, to avert the risk of spread to other neighboring nations, attention has been given to supporting cross-border surveillance, vector control approaches, and strict implementation of the vaccination requirements for the travelers.[1],[2],[5]

As a result of all the above measures, no new case has been reported in the last 6 weeks in Angola, and is a welcome sign, but there is no room for being complacent.[4]

It is very important to continue with the prevention and control measures in the two affected nations, as the disease is very much endemic and sporadic cases have been reported in the rural and remote areas.[3],[4] Thus, all the efforts should be directed to expand the services in the hard-to-reach areas, respond to the infrastructure constraints (like maintaining the cold chain) and ensure that each individual is immunized by the vaccine.[3],[5]

Further, there is a need to keep up with the pace of manufacturing of vaccine and monitor its uniform supply as already almost 3 times the volume of vaccine (which will be deployed in a year for controlling the outbreak) has been utilized in the ongoing outbreak itself.[3],[4]

To conclude, even though, improvement has been observed in the ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Angola, a lot needs to be done to bring the situation completely under control.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Burki T. Yellow fever in Africa: A disaster waiting to happen. Lancet Infect Dis 2016;16:896-7.
2Vasconcelos PF, Monath TP. Yellow fever remains a potential threat to public health. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2016;16:566-7.
3World Health Organization. Q and A: Yellow fever outbreak in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/emergencies/yellow-fever/mediacentre/qa/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 August 05].
4World Health Organization. Gains in fight to control yellow fever outbreak: but response must continue; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/yellow-fever-response/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 August 5].
5Woodall JP, Yuill TM. Why is the yellow fever outbreak in Angola a 'threat to the entire world'? Int J Infect Dis 2016;48:96-7.