Strange Deaths: More New Cases of Yellow Fever - NCDC reports

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has in a weekly epidemiology report published Friday night stated that "since the beginning of the year 2020, a total of 1,558 suspected cases and 46 confirmed cases have been reported from 481 (62%) local government areas (LGAs) across all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)."

"The 46 confirmed cases were reported from 14 LGAs across eight states as follows: Bauchi (8); Benue (3); Delta (8); Ebonyi (1); Edo (5); Ekiti (1); Enugu (19); Oyo (1)."

"This week alone, about 20 new confirmed cases were reported in Enugu (14), Benue (3), Delta (2), Ebonyi (1)."

The report added that "of all cases, both suspected and confirmed, a total of 75 people have died."

NCDC pointed out that the country recorded 47 deaths from yellow fever throughout the whole of 2019.

Strange Death and Yellow Fever

Strange Death has cast fear in the hearts of many in Enugu State. Isi-Uzo Local Government in Enugu State within last week has recorded scary deaths of mainly 'young boys' between the ages of 8 and 30years in many communities with blood coming out from victims nose before death, a similar symptom of acute stage of Yellows Fever.

Within the past weeks, the Enugu State Government had reported 70 suspected cases of the viral infection including 33 deaths, and were confirmed by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) as Yellow Fever from the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test conducted at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, FCT.

The recent outbreak of the disease which began in Igboeze North LGA was suspected to have spread to Isi-Uzo, Nsukka and Igbo-Etiti LGA according to a report from the State Commisioner of Health, Dr Ikechukwu Obi. 

The State Government has however commenced a compulsory mass 10 days vaccination against the virus across the LGAs.

Facts about Yellow Fever

According to the World Health Organization , Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes and Haemogogus species

The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients.

Yellow fever virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days. Many people do not experience symptoms, but when these do occur, the most common symptoms are fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. In most cases, symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days.

A small percentage of patients, however, enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours of recovering from initial symptoms. High fever returns and several body systems are affected, usually the liver and the kidneys. In this phase people are likely to develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes, hence the name ‘yellow fever’), dark urine and abdominal pain with vomiting. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. Half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 7 - 10 days.

Good and early supportive treatment in hospitals improves survival rates. There is currently no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever but specific care to treat dehydration, liver and kidney failure, and fever improves outcomes. Associated bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics.

Vaccination, Vector Control involving eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites, including by applying larvicides to water storage containers and other places where standing water collects, and Epidemic preparedness and response are the key preventive measures against Yellow Fever.

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