Date: Fri 24 Jan 2020
Source: Uganda Ministry of Health Tweets [edited]
[This series of tweets is drawn from a video interview that is also available at the above Twitter URL.]
The Ugandan Health Minister confirms an outbreak of yellow fever in Moyo District, West Nile region and Buliisa District in the Hoima region of Uganda.
Original public tweets
Minister of Health, @JaneRuth_Aceng confirms the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Moyo District in West Nile region and Buliisa District in Hoima region in #Uganda.
@WHOUganda country representative, @tegegny speaks about the Yellow fever vaccine. "The Yellow Fever vaccine is one of those vaccines where you need to be vaccinated only once," he says.
@MinofHealthUG has also applied to @gavi and WHO for inclusion of the Yellow Fever vaccination into the routine immunisation schedule. Having faced 4 outbreaks, #Uganda now qualifies to introduce Yellow Fever vaccine as a long term measure to prevent Yellow Fever outbreaks.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: We anticipate that within the next 2 weeks, vaccines will be available and vaccination will commence in Moyo and Buliisa districts.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: @MinofHealthUG has requested for the Yellow Fever vaccines from the International Coordination Group that manages global stock piles of Yellow Fever and Meningitis vaccines.
@MinofHealthUG working with partners have dispatched Rapid Response Teams to Moyo and Buliisa Districts to support investigations, active search for cases, community mobilization and sensitization.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: At this time, there was little suspicion, however, his blood sample was withdrawn and sent to @UVRIug [Uganda Virus Research Institute] for testing and results showed positive for Yellow fever virus.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: In Buliisa, there are also 2 confirmed cases. A 37-year old male and his 38-year old wife. The husband was a cattle farmer trading in milk between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
They presented with symptoms of:
- abdominal and joint pain
- unexplained bleeding.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: Upon arrival, they got ill and on [3 Jan 2020] were admitted at Logobo Health Center III in Moyo District. They were later referred to Moyo General Hospital.
@JaneRuth_Aceng: In Moyo District, there are 2 confirmed cases, both are males who were dealing in cutting and trading timber between Uganda and South Sudan. On [2 Jan 2020], the 2 cases travelled from South Sudan to Moyo.
[These 2 small (2 infected individuals in each locality) yellow fever (YF) outbreaks are not interconnected, having occurred at 2 sites at far distances from each other. It is reassuring to learn that the Ministry of Health will be investigating these 2 sites and initiating vaccination in these areas in 2 weeks. There is no indication of the proportion of the residents in these areas who have been vaccinated for YF previously.
Yellow fever is no stranger in Uganda, and outbreaks occur sporadically. The most recent previous outbreak reported by the Ugandan Ministry of Health was in May 2019 after laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from Koboko in the Northern region and Masaka in the Central region districts -- regions 600 km (375 mi) apart. These cases are spillover from endemic sylvan (forest) maintenance of the virus. Maintaining 80%-90% vaccination coverage in these areas is important to prevent initiation of urban transmission of the virus that can quickly get out of hand.