Everything you need to know about the yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria

55 deaths have been recorded in suspected and probable cases while 13 deaths have been recorded among confirmed cases so far.

So far, there have been over 1,640 suspected cases in the country

Here is everything you need to know about the  fever and outbreak in parts of the country:

Yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria

The first confirmed case was in a 7- year old child from Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State. This happened on September 12, 2017.

Since then, there have over 1,640 suspected cases and 41 confirmed ones, according to the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal.

There have been 55 deaths in the suspected cases and 13 deaths have been recorded among confirmed cases.

Nigeria's Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reports that the outbreak is currently active in 14 states: Kwara, Kogi, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Katsina, Edo, Ekiti, Rivers, Anambra, FCT, and Benue.

What is yellow fever?

This is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever. It is caused by a Flavivirus and transmitted by infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. It’s called 'yellow fever' because of jaundice (yellowish colouration of the eyes) in some infected individuals.

Symptoms

Yellow fever virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days once it is contracted. Then, the initial symptoms begin to show. They include headaches, muscle aches, joint aches, chills, fever, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.

In most cases, symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days. In others, some people do not experience any symptoms.

Toxic phase

A small proportion of patients who contract yellow fever (only 15 per cent) enter the toxic phase. Here, severe symptoms include decreased urination, abdominal pains, vomiting (sometimes with blood), heart rhythm problems, seizures, delirium, bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach, yellow discolouration of the eyes and skin.

This phase of the disease is fatal as half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 7–10 days.

Treatment

Since there is no cure and the symptoms mimic those of other diseases, it makes it quite difficult to diagnose. This is why prevention (vaccination and mosquito control) is still the best approach.

The yellow fever vaccine is affordable and even free in certain states like Edo and Abuja. A single dose is all you need for life-long immunity against the disease.

However, it can be treated by strengthening your immune system through the following;

  • getting enough fluids, possibly through your veins
  • getting oxygen
  • maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • getting blood transfusions
  • having dialysis if you experience kidney failure
  • getting treatment for other infections that may develop

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