A shortage of the yellow fever vaccine has led the United Nations health agency to endorse lower doses that reduce immunity from a lifetime to approximately 12 months. The World Health Organization recommends using a fifth of the standard dose to stretch the current vaccines.
Mass immunization in Angola following 300 deaths since December depleted the supply of 18 million doses. Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is reporting a dramatic increase in yellow fever cases, as is Zambia.
The UN News Centre reports that densely populated urban centers can have rapid spread, causing thousands of deaths. Vaccinations remain the only prevention.
The virus causes jaundice, kidney failure and bleeding. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Half of severely affected patients who don’t receive treatment die within 14 days, according to World Vision, which has staff in all three countries monitoring the outbreak.
Pray for the people African health officials and yellow fever vaccine manufacturers as they work to eliminate the yellow fever threat.
UN: With 18 million doses exhausted, global stockpile of yellow fever vaccine running low
Al Arabiya: WHO backs plan to cut yellow vaccine dose to eke out supplies
World Vision: Yellow fever outbreak spreads to DRC, Zambia