Emergencies preparedness, response

Yellow fever in Sierra Leone

On 8 February 2011, the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone notified WHO of two cases of yellow fever in Jahun village in Bonthe district, Southern province.

The index case was a 40 year old female, who developed symptoms on 17 January 2011 and tested positive for IgM by ELISA test conducted by Institut Pasteur in Abidjan on 1 February 2011. The WHO reference laboratory for Yellow Fever at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar confirmed the case on 8 February 2011.

The second case was an 18 year old male identified during an outbreak investigation between 11-14 February. The case tested positive for IgM by ELISA test conducted by the Institute Pasteur in Abidjan.

None of the cases had a history of yellow fever vaccination.

On 5 March 2011, the Ministry of Health of Sierra Leone began a response vaccination campaign targeting 144,479 people aged nine months and above, excluding pregnant women in Bonthe district.

Sierra Leone benefited from a yellow fever preventive mass vaccination campaign in 2009, which covered 11 out of 13 districts in the country, excluding Bonthe and Bombali districts.