Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Yellow fever in Sierra Leone

On 12 December 2008, The Ministry of Health (MoH), Sierra Leone reported two laboratory confirmed cases of Yellow fever in the communities of Gerihun and Jembe, Bo district. Both cases were reported by the Yellow fever surveillance system and presented with symptoms of fever and jaundice. Additionally, a further 7 suspected cases have been reported. There have been no deaths, to date.

On the basis of the outbreak investigation, a reactive mass vaccination campaign targeting 527,978 people will be carried out in the district of Bo. The campaign is planned for the 10 January 2009. The MoH has made a request for Yellow fever vaccines for the mass vaccination campaign from the GAVI funded Global Emergency Stockpile for Yellow fever Vaccine, managed by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision for Yellow Fever Control (YF-ICG).

The initial case was a 28 year old man from the village of Jembe. The onset of his symptoms was the 7th October 2008. The second case was a 11 year old child that presented with signs of a haemorrhagic fever. The onset of his symptoms was 13 November 2008. Both cases were confirmed at the WHO regional laboratory for Yellow fever at the Institute Pasteur, Dakar where differential diagnosis for other haemorrhagic fevers was done.

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