NCDC Urges Preventive Measures Against Yellow Fever During Rains

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The director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Jide Idris.
The director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Jide Idris.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has warned that cases of yellow fever tend to increase during the rainy season, much like the outbreak of cholera.

The spike in yellow fever incidents is largely due to heightened mosquito activity, as mosquitoes are the primary vectors for the disease.

According to the director-general of NCDC, yellow fever is a viral infection spread by infected mosquitoes and poses significant health risks. The incubation period for the disease ranges from three to six days and symptoms can include fever, muscle pain (particularly in the back), headache, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

In more severe cases, yellow fever can progress to a toxic phase, affecting the liver and kidneys. Symptoms in this stage may include high-grade fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, jaundice and dark urine caused by acute liver and kidney failure. In some cases, bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes, or stomach and death can occur within seven to ten days in about half of cases with severe symptoms.

Fortunately, yellow fever can be prevented by an effective and affordable vaccine, which provides life-long protection with just a single dose. However, implementing effective mosquito control measures can also substantially reduce the risk of yellow fever infection. Stagnant water, which serves as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, should be promptly eliminated, and a clean environment should be maintained to deter mosquitoes. When outdoors, especially during peak mosquito activity times (dusk and dawn), wearing long sleeves and pants can help reduce the risk of mosquito bites.

By following these preventive measures, communities can better protect themselves from yellow fever during the rainy season. Community participation in mosquito control efforts is also crucial to safeguard public health.

The NCDC continues to monitor reports of yellow fever cases in Nigeria, with 600 suspected cases reported from 273 local government areas (LGAs) across 36 states including the FCT in 2023. Additionally, there were four presumptive positive cases reported at the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) Abuja and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu. Finally, one confirmed case was reported from Institut Pasteur (IP) Dakar. Thankfully, no deaths were recorded among suspected cases in the reporting month.

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