The World Health Organization has announced that though the outbreak of yellow fever in Africa is slowing down and does not amount to a public health emergency, it requires urgent action.

The WHO has been taking extensive measures to put a halt to the spread of yellow fever. In April, the organisation warned all travelers to Angola to ensure they receive vaccination and a valid certification of vaccination so that they are protected from the disease and thus preventing its further spread.

Yellow fever like Zika virus is spread by infected mosquitoes, particularly the Aedes mosquito. It is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. There is currently no specific treatment. A single dose vaccination will however provide protection for life and is both safe and affordable. It is effective 10 days after the date of immunization.

As the Director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan said, most of the cases of Yello fever in Africa are in Angola, but the virus has been carried to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya by migrant workers. Eleven travelers have also carried it to China.

WHO is working with companies that make Yellow fever vaccine to build up the current stockpile and is working to vaccinate people at risk.

Author: Ope Adedeji