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Health Ministry Confirms Yellow Fever Outbreak in Uganda

Ministry of Health has Friday confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Yellow Fever virus in the country.

The virus is said to have been confirmed following weeks of investigation of a couple in Buliisa district in Western Uganda.

The first suspected case according to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, was reported at Buliisa Hospital in November 1st last year.

On December 10th, she says, the man’s blood sample tested positive of yellow fever.

Subsequently, the ministry took seven more samples from the man’s contacts including his wife, and early this week on January 22nd, the wife’s sample also turned up positive.

The other samples tested negative.

Hon Aceng told press this morning that the ministry, together with the World Health Organization has since dispatched rapid response teams to Moyo and Buliisa district.

The Ministry, she said, has also requested for yellow fever vaccines from the International Coordination Group which manages global stockpiles of yellow fever and meningitis vaccine.

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“We anticipate that within the next two weeks, vaccines will be available and vaccination will commence in Moyo and Buliisa districts,” she said.

The Ministry has also requested GAVI and WHO to include yellow fever vaccination into Uganda’s routine vaccination schedule, as a long term measure to prevent the virus.

Yellow fever vaccination in Uganda is normally taken by people traveling out of the country, owing to its cost (about 100,000 a shot).

This according to Aceng, is the fourth yellow fever outbreak in the country.

Yellow Fever, like malaria, is transmitted through mosquito bites.

Its symptoms include high fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting blood in stool and yellowing eyes.

 

 

 

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