The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said NCDC is currently responding to yellow fever outbreaks in Delta, Enugu and Bauchi states after reports of 76 deaths recorded this November.
Giving updates on the outbreak in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Abuja, Ihekweazu said that following the outbreak this November, 1, 2 and 8 cluster cases and deaths were reported to the agency by the State Epidemiologists of the three affected states.
He disclosed that 74 suspected cases involving 35 deaths were reported from Delta State; 70 suspected cases with 33 deaths from Enugu and 78 suspected cases with 8 deaths from Bauchi state, respectively. The yellow fever virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The NCDC director general revealed that from preliminary investigations, three samples from Delta, one sample from Enugu, and eight samples from Bauchi were confirmed as yellow fever from the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test conducted at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, FCT.
He said, “Between November 1st and 11th, 2020, a total of 222 suspected cases, 19 confirmed cases and 76 deaths have been reported from these three states.”
Ihekweazu stated that most of the cases were males, with ages ranging from 1-55 years, presenting symptoms that included fever, headache, fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain, vomiting with or without blood, epistaxis, blood in stools/urine,
According to him, as at November 7th the National Yellow Fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated to coordinate all response activities across the affected states.
He added, “The State Epidemiology Team in the affected states is leading the response with support from NCDC, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and World Health Organisation (WHO).”
“National Rapid Response Teams (RRT) from the NCDC have been deployed to support response activities in Delta and Enugu States.”
NAN recalls that as of early October this year, the country had reported a total of eight confirmed cases of yellow fever from seven LGAs across four states with no deaths, as a multi-agency yellow fever Technical Working Group coordinated by NCDC, has kicked in response activities in the country.
Meanwhile, the Yellow fever vaccine is available for free at Primary Health Care (PHC) centres across the country, as part of the national childhood routine immunisation schedule.