3 dead as yellow fever hits Moyo, Buliisa

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Minister Aceng [C] addresses press

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Moyo District in West Nile region and Buliisa District in Hoima region.

In Moyo District, there are two confirmed cases, both are males aged 18 and 21 years.

The two cases were dealing with cutting and trading timber between Uganda and South Sudan. On 2 January 2020, the two cases travelled from South Sudan to Moyo.

Upon arrival, they got ill and on 3 January 2020, they were admitted at Logobo Health Center III in Moyo District.

Victoria University

They were later referred to Moyo General Hospital with symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, abdominal and joint pain, confusion and unexplained bleeding.

Unfortunately, they later died in the isolation ward of Moyo General Hospital.

Blood samples were withdrawn and sent for testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Results from UVRI confirmed Yellow Fever infection.

In Buliisa, there are also two confirmed cases. A 37-year old male and his 38-year old wife. The husband was a cattle farmer trading in milk between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

On 31 October 2019, he visited Buliisa Hospital with a headache, vomiting, and abdominal pain and received supportive treatment. He died on 4 November 2019 at Buliisa Hospital.

At this time, there was little suspicion, however, his blood sample was withdrawn and sent to UVRI for testing.

On 10 December 2019, the sample tested positive for Yellow fever virus.

This prompted our teams to follow up with investigations, samples were collected from seven of his contacts, including his wife.

On 22 January 2020, the wife tested positive for Yellow Fever virus. The other 6 samples tested negative. She is alive and well.

The district health teams of Moyo and Buliisa have initiated investigations.

 In addition, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have dispatched Rapid Response Teams to Moyo and Buliisa Districts to support: investigations, active search for cases, community mobilization and sensitization.

The Ministry of Health has requested for the Yellow Fever vaccines from the International Coordination Group that manages Global Stockpiles of Yellow Fever and Meningitis vaccines.

“We anticipate that within the next two weeks, vaccines will be available and vaccination will commence in Moyo and Buliisa districts,” said Hon. Aceng Jane Ruth, Minister of Health.

Ministry of Health has also applied to GAVI and WHO for inclusion of the Yellow Fever vaccination into the routine immunisation schedule.

Having faced 4 outbreaks, Uganda now qualifies to introduce the Yellow Fever vaccine as a long term measure to prevent Yellow Fever outbreaks.

Yellow fever is a disease transmitted through bites of mosquitoes infected by the Yellow Fever virus (flavivirus).

Symptoms include high fever, headache, general body aches, fatigue, vomiting, blood in urine or stool and or yellow discolouration of skin and or eyes.

The Ministry of Health appealed to all travellers in and out of the country to be vaccinated against Yellow Fever.

Travellers are urged to comply with this travel requirement to ensure that the risk of spread of yellow fever through international travel is minimized.

The population are advised to always sleep under a mosquito net. Report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility.

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