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Rainy Season: Nigerians Urged to Get Vaccinated Against Yellow Fever

With the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) warning about the increased possibility of a yellow fever outbreak during the rainy season, public health specialists have advised Nigerians to get inoculated with the yellow fever vaccine.

The physicians also called for proper environmental sanitation to prevent the breeding of the disease vector and advised persons with feverish symptoms to immediately report to the hospital for testing and treatment.

The experts further warned against using herbal cocktails to treat yellow fever, warning that such treatment can harm the liver and worsen health outcomes.

The NCDC, last week, hinted at the fact that yellow fever, like cholera, can spread fast during the rainy season.

The NCDC Director-General, Dr. Jide Idris, stated that the spike in yellow fever incidents was due to an increase in the prevalence of mosquitoes, which are the primary vectors for the disease.

He explained that yellow fever is an epidemic-prone, vaccine-preventable disease caused by an arbovirus transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of infected Aedes and Haemagogus mosquitoes.

Idris stated, “Many people don’t experience symptoms, but when they occur, the most common are fever, muscle pain with prominent back pain, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.

“In most cases, symptoms disappear after three to four days.”

The NCDC boss said that a few individuals may have severe symptoms like high-grade fever, abdominal pain with vomiting, jaundice, and dark urine, caused by acute liver and kidney failure.

He further warned that death could occur within seven to 10 days in about half of cases with severe symptoms.

Idris asserted that the disease is preventable through a single dose of yellow fever vaccine, adding that the vaccine is safe, affordable and sufficient to grant sustained immunity and life-long protection.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 34 countries in Africa and 13 in Central and South America are either endemic or have regions that are endemic to yellow fever.

In 2022, the WHO stated that about 160 million Nigerians are at risk of yellow fever.

Data from the NCDC reports that as of January 1 to April 30, about 589 suspected cases of yellow fever have been reported in 288 Local Government Areas, including the Federal Capital territory.