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Yellow fever outbreak in Edo as FG commences vaccination

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ABOUT nine patients have tested positive to Yellow Fever in Edo State, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

This is coming just two days after a vaccination exercise against Yello Fever was commenced in six states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

A statement signed by the centre’s  Executive Director, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, noted that an investigation has commenced in collaboration with the Edo State ministry of health to determine the cause of the suspected outbreak, which has been reported in four local government areas in the state, as well as ways to contain the disease from spreading further.

“On the 21st of November 2018, nine cases tested positive for yellow fever. We await confirmatory results from the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory,” Ihekweazu stated.

“The Edo State Epidemiology Team is working with the NCDC, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out a detailed investigation and response to the already confirmed cases.”

Also, a rapid response team has been deployed by the NCDC to support the state’s health workers in with contact tracing, risk communications, and management of cases, and plans are ongoing to begin a vaccination exercise in the state in response to the cluster of cases.

Meanwhile, a vaccination exercise against Yellow Fever is currently ongoing across six states of the federation, namely: Niger, Plateau, Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi States, and the FCT.

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The vaccination programme, which is a collaboration between the federal government and the World Health Organisation (WHO), started on Thursday, November 22, 2018, and is targetted at about 26 million children and adults between the ages of 9 months and 44 years.

Ihekweazu urged all Nigerians to get vaccinated and also encourage their families, and neighbours to do the same.

According to NCDC, a dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides for life-long protection against the disease. However, the ICIR observed that the card issued to the people who took the vaccine on Saturday shows the expiry date as 2022.

Calls to the contact numbers on the NCDC website were not answered. A toll-free number on the website did not connect as an automated voice said that the operational hours are between 8.30 am to 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays. A message sent to the centre’s official Twitter handle has not been responded to as at the time of this report.Ye

In addition to taking the vaccine, it is advised that environments should be kept clean and free of stagnant water to discourage the breeding of mosquitoes. Also, the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, screens on windows and doors is encouraged.

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