Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Yellow fever in Sierra Leone - update

30 September 2003

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 29 September 2003, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, has reported a total of 90 cases from 8 districts (Tonkolili, Bombali, Kenema, Koinadugu, Porto Loko, Kambia and Kono) in the country (see previous report). Of the 90 cases, there are 4 laboratory confirmed cases, all from Tonkolili district, and 10 deaths.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation conducted a mass immunization campaign (100 000 doses) from 22-31 August in 4 out of 11 chiefdoms in the Tonkolili district. Most of the suspected cases and all of the laboratory confirmed cases come from these chiefdoms. Last week, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) for Vaccine Provision for Yellow Fever provided the Ministry with 150 000 doses of yellow fever vaccine to implement a mass immunization campaign in the 7 remaining chiefdoms of Tonkolili district. This campaign is planned to start in the first week of October.

The WHO West Africa sub-regional team is helping to strengthen surveillance in the affected areas and to coordinate the response. Additional samples from surrounding districts are also being collected for testing.

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