Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Yellow fever in Cameroon

On 8 September 2009, The Ministry of Health (MoH), Cameroon reported a laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever, identified through routine yellow fever surveillance. The index case is from Kotto 1 - Bomboko village, Buea Health District, South-West Province. A reactive mass vaccination campaign is planned for October 2009 in two districts, Buea and Mbongue, with a target population of 165,138.

The patient is a 61 year-old man male, without history of yellow fever vaccination, who presented with fever, jaundice and back pain with onset of symptoms on 27 July 2009. The patient consulted a private practitioner in Buea Health District and a clinical diagnosis of yellow fever was made.

Preliminary testing at the Institut Pasteur of Yaoundé suggested the patient may have yellow fever, a finding confirmed by the regional reference laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, where tests for other haemorrhagic fevers were negative.

During the outbreak investigation, 51 serum samples were collected from additional suspected cases. Laboratory analysis of the specimens is ongoing at the Institut Pasteur in Yaoundé. As yellow fever outbreaks have occurred in different parts of Cameroon, the country carried out a national yellow fever preventive vaccination campaign in May 2009, for the population of 62 districts at high risk. The health district of Buea was not previously known to be a yellow fever endemic area. This outbreak response campaign will therefore extend the area protected against future outbreaks.

The country will use vaccine from the global yellow fever vaccine emergency stockpile, which is managed by the International Coordinating Group for Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG) and funded by the GAVI Alliance.

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