On the heels of more clashes between government forces and insurgents, the World Health Organization has confirmed an outbreak of yellow fever in regions of Sudan and South Sudan.
The WHO confirms 14 people have died so far with 44 reported cases. The cases were reported in 12 areas: Lagawa, Kailak, Muglad and Abyei localities in West Kordofan and Elreef Alshargi, Abu Gibaiha, Ghadir, Habila, Kadugli, Altadamon, Talodi and Aliri in South Kordofan. The initial cases were reported in workers traveling from Sudanese plantations in October.
Yellow fever is a disease transmitted by infected mosquitos. The World Health Organization estimates yellow fever infects between 840,000 and 1.7 million people in Africa every year, resulting in anywhere from 29,000 to 60,000 deaths.
Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control
There is no treatment or cure for yellow fever except for “supportive care”. People can get a preventative vaccine to reduce risk of becoming infected. Yellow fever affects the body in two stages. The first phase causes fever, muscle pains, shivers and vomiting. Most patients recover after this stage.
The second, more serious phase, leads to jaundice and abdominal pain. Patients may start bleeding from the mouth, nose, or eyes while losing kidney function. About 50% of these patients die in less than two weeks.