How Kenya Can Deal With Latest Yellow Fever Outbreak

On March 5, 2022, Kenya declared an outbreak of yellow fever in Isiolo County after the death of three people. More than 20 people were reported to have contracted the deadly viral disease in the county in February 2022. Counties bordering Isiolo were placed in the high-risk bracket.

Yellow fever outbreaks occurred in nine African countries in 2021. They were Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, the DR Congo, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and the Republic of Congo.

It is estimated that 47 countries in the world - 34 in Africa and 13 in Central and South America - are susceptible to yellow fever. The disease is endemic in tropical areas of these regions.

There is no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever at the moment but the disease is preventable through a single dose vaccine. The vaccine provides a sustained immunity and lifelong protection for 80% to 100% of vaccinated people. At the moment, Kenya doesn't have a regular vaccination programme for risk areas but the government usually arranges for mass vaccinations during outbreaks.

Kenya should consider mass vaccinations targeting all age groups in high-risk counties. This happened in Cote d'Ivoire between September and October 2001, when up to 2.61 million people were vaccinated in a 12-day period in Abidjan, reports Eunice Anyango Owino for The Conversation.

(file photo).

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.