In December 2015, a yellow fever outbreak began in Luanda, Angola. This outbreak was the largest reported in Angola during the last 30 years. In response to the outbreak, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent approximately 40 staff to Angola to support the Ministry of Health with surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory diagnostics, case management, social mobilization, and vaccination campaign logistics. This picture earned photographer, Rebecca Hall, a tie for Second Place, in the in the 2016 CDC Connects, Public Health in Action Photo Contest, in the category of International People.
Yellow Fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a virus found in tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Africa. Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding
Yellow fever is vaccine-preventable, but in order to prevent epidemics we must continue to improve vaccination coverage in higher-risk countries.
What is the global impact of yellow fever?
- Yellow fever virus is estimated to cause 200,000 cases of disease and 30,000 deaths each year, with 90% occurring in Africa.
- 20% to 50% of infected persons who develop severe disease die.
- Yellow fever virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected Aedes or Haemagogus mosquitoes. People infected with yellow fever virus are infectious to mosquitoes shortly before the onset of fever and up to 5 days after onset.
- Outbreaks of yellow fever, which often occur when the disease is introduced to densely populated urban areas, can have disruptive effects on economies and health care systems.
Who is at risk?
- Anyone exposed to mosquitoes in countries where yellow fever is endemic is at risk, including travelers, unless they have received the yellow fever vaccine.
- A single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong protection for most people.
- No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with yellow fever. Whenever possible, yellow fever patients should be hospitalized for supportive care and close observation. Treatment is symptomatic.
What is CDC doing?
- CDC helps the World Health Organization assess yellow fever virus activity in selected African countries and implement protocols related to yellow fever vaccine immunity and safety.
- CDC also provides technical assistance to the GAVI-sponsored Yellow Fever Initiative that aims to reduce the risk of yellow fever epidemics by improving vaccination coverage in higher risk countries.