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Yellow fever – Nigeria

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Stories of a cluster of deaths from an undiagnosed illness had been notified on 1 November 2020 via Occasion Based mostly Surveillance in two states, Delta and Enugu, situated in southern Nigeria. The Delta State well being surveillance system had been knowledgeable of the outbreak on 30 October 2020, following a cluster of deaths presenting with comparable signs.

Determine 1. Epidemic curve of suspected circumstances for Delta and Bauchi states


On 2 November 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) reported to WHO a cluster of deaths in Ute Okpu neighborhood in Ika North-East native authorities space (LGA) of Delta State. Extra circumstances had been reported from four different wards of Ika North-East (Idumessah, Owa Alero, Owanta, and Umunede). A preliminary report for Delta State on 5 November 2020, notified of 48 suspected circumstances of yellow fever (YF) with 30 deaths (CFR 62.5%). Essentially the most frequent signs included 1-week historical past of fever, vomiting (with or with out blood), bleeding, seizures, and unconsciousness. One affected person was reported to have cough, sore throat, and hiccups. Of these 48 reported circumstances, the primary occupation was farmers, and males had been predominantly affected (75%). The YF vaccination standing of many of the suspected circumstances is unknown. The index case developed signs on 24 July 2020 and died on 28 July 2020. Preliminary investigation didn’t reveal any important journey historical past. Two blood samples had been collected, together with nasal and throat swabs on 31 October 2020. Laboratory investigations had been carried out on the cell laboratory of Irrua Specialist Instructing Hospital (ISTH) in Delta State. All blood samples examined by polymerase chain response (PCR) had been destructive for Lassa fever and the throat swab was destructive for extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 . Six extra blood samples had been collected and despatched to ISTH, Edo State and all had been destructive for Lassa fever, whereas three had been constructive for YF by PCR. As of 10 November 2020, 65 suspected circumstances, together with 33 deaths, have been reported. Samples had been collected from 27 circumstances and 7 have examined constructive for yellow fever by PCR.

On four November 2020, the Enugu State epidemiologist reported a cluster of deaths of unknown trigger to NCDC. Investigations by the Fast Response group for Enugu State on four November 2020 reported 10 deaths, with the bulk being males aged four to 65 years outdated and with occupations as farmers. Essentially the most frequent signs included excessive grade fever, convulsion, and ultimately coma, along with blood within the urine, mouth bleeding, bleeding within the respiratory tract, blood shot eyes and ache within the flank. The suggestive differential analysis was Lassa fever, YF, cerebrospinal meningitis and COVID-19. A complete of 13 blood samples had been collected and despatched to the Nationwide Reference Laboratory in Abuja to be examined for viral haemorrhagic fevers. Outcomes acquired on 10 November 2020 confirmed 6 PCR constructive YF circumstances in Enugu State.

On eight November 2020, Bauchi State reported eight samples examined by PCR on the NCDC Nationwide Reference Laboratory constructive for YF (7/eight from Ganjuwa LGA, 1/eight unknown LGA). 4 of those samples had been additionally IgM constructive for YF. Detailed case investigations are ongoing, and the road checklist is at present being up to date.

On 15 November 2020, three PCR constructive samples for yellow fever had been reported from Ogbadibo LGA in Benue State. These samples had been additionally examined on the NCDC, Nationwide Reference Laboratory. Moreover, there was a PCR constructive pattern for YF reported from Ohaukwu LGA in Ebonyi State. This LGA has additionally been the situation of a cluster of possible YF circumstances that had been IgM constructive at nationwide reference laboratory and had dates of onset July-August 2020. Safety challenges within the LGA had hindered full investigation and work-up on the time of preliminary notification.

The outbreak encompasses 5 states in Nigeria: Delta, Enugu, Bauchi, and Benue and Ebonyi (Determine 2).

Determine 2. Geographic distribution of affected states and native authorities areas in Nigeria


Nigeria is dealing with concurrent outbreaks of a number of pathogens. Delta State, situated within the South-South geo-political zone of the nation, is likely one of the Lassa fever affected states, although not thought-about one of many YF sizzling spot states. In 2020, 18 Lassa fever circumstances have been laboratory confirmed from 140 suspected circumstances, together with three fatalities. Enugu state, within the South-East geopolitical zone of the nation, shares boundaries with Benue (Ogbadibo LGA) the place there are three confirmed circumstances of Lassa fever, and Ebonyi state which is likely one of the hotspot states for the Lassa fever outbreak. To this point, 10 Lassa fever circumstances have been reported from Enugu state for the reason that begin of the yr, together with 2 fatalities (20% CFR). Whereas Lassa fever circumstances are reported year-round, the height interval is December to April.

The relative proximity of Delta, Enugu, Benue and Ebonyi states with Lagos is an added concern, although inhabitants actions (and therefore danger of unfold) might have been lowered within the COVID-19 context. Nonetheless, there’s a lack of knowledge on this, and the chance of unfold ought to be monitored.

COVID-19 response efforts demand a rare period of time and sources from the nation’s well being system whereas lockdowns, journey restrictions and different mitigations to gradual the unfold have severely disrupted entry to core important well being providers. Nationwide and state authorities are at present targeted on the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting the human sources required to conduct investigations and response actions for the YF outbreaks. Current leisure of COVID-19 measures will improve inhabitants mobility thereby rising the chance for amplification of yellow fever, particularly if launched into city centres. Inhabitants mobility in city settings will be notably difficult in conducting mass vaccination campaigns because of the dimension and diagnostic challenges of the operation (SAGE 2016). As of 23 November 2020, 66 383 COVID circumstances, together with 1 167 deaths, have been reported in Nigeria.

Public well being response

The present response at central stage:

  • As of seven November 2020, the Nationwide Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for Yellow Fever was activated and led by NCDC, in shut coordination with the State yellow fever EOC within the affected states
  • Coordination and deployment of technical help to affected states to make sure high quality detailed investigations and response
  • Guaranteeing transport of constructive samples to the regional reference laboratory, Institute Pasteur Dakar, for second stage affirmation
  • The designated nationwide reference laboratories for testing (Central Public Well being Laboratories and Nationwide Reference Laboratory) are at present testing samples utilizing serology and PCR respectively
  • Reagents and consumables can be found in all testing laboratories
  • Pictorial aids for YF case administration has been up to date and is being finalized
  • Growth of an Incident Motion Plan (IAP) for the response is ongoing
  • Case definitions for lively case search have been developed and shared with the affected states
  • Each day monitoring and evaluation of surveillance knowledge from the affected states utilizing the Surveillance Outbreak Response Administration and Evaluation System (SORMAS)
  • Partaking with Fast Response Groups and State Epidemiologists for every day updates
  • Publishing press releases to replace Nigerians on the YF scenario within the nation and supply info
  • Ongoing hearsay monitoring throughout social and conventional media platforms
  • Dissemination of prevention messages throughout NCDC social media platforms
  • Two organised interviews on Channels TV Abuja & Wazobia FM Lagos
  • Conducting danger assessments in YF excessive danger states/ LGAs and making certain lively case looking out in communities
  • Provision of nationwide steerage to states on implementing high quality vaccination response aligned to COVID-19 prevention requirements for campaigns
  • The nation is supporting entomological research in Enugu, by the Nationwide Arbovirus Analysis Middle (NAVRC)

The present response for Delta State:

  • An accelerated preventive yellow fever mass vaccination marketing campaign ongoing within the affected LGA (Ika North-East LGA) Line itemizing of circumstances and lively case looking out in well being services and communities
  • Danger communication actions and neighborhood engagement have been intensified in Ika North-East LGA on the chance of YF and steps to take to guard communities (e.g. vaccination, vector management)
  • Case administration of suspected circumstances at a delegated remedy centre (Federal Medical Centre, Asaba)
  • A state-wide YF preventive mass vaccination marketing campaign is deliberate on the finish of November 2020 that may be leveraged to speed up the response

The present response for the circumstances in Enugu State:

  • An expanded emergency operation middle for COVID-19 response to answer the yellow fever outbreak on the chance of yellow fever and steps to take to guard communities (e.g. vaccination, vector management)
  • Neighborhood mobilization to all conventional rulers, city union presidents and different opinion leaders in Igbo-Eze North LGA
  • Intensified lively seek for suspected YF circumstances within the communities and well being services
  • A case administration middle has been recognized on the Common Hospital Ogrute, Enugu-Ezike of Igbo-Eze North LGA)
  • Wants evaluation for Common Hospital Enugu – Ezike has been accomplished for designation as a remedy middle in Enugu State
  • Worldwide Coordinating Group request is beneath preparation for a reactive vaccination marketing campaign within the affected LGA

The present response for the circumstances in Bauchi State:

  • Detailed case investigation in course of
  • Line itemizing of circumstances
  • Offsite help being given to response group pending the conclusion of the preliminary investigation
  • A state-wide YF preventive mass vaccination marketing campaign deliberate in Bauchi in February 2021 will be leveraged and accelerated to help the response

The present response for the circumstances in Benue State:

  • Detailed case investigation in course of
  • Line-listing being up to date with 27 reported circumstances thus far on the checklist
  • Offsite help being given to response group pending the conclusion of the preliminary investigation
  • As one of many high-risk states a preventive mass vaccination marketing campaign is scheduled for 20 November 2020

Nigeria is taken into account a high-risk nation by the Eradicate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) technique. Routine yellow fever vaccination was launched to Nigeria’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in 2004 with an estimated protection of 54% (2019), with decrease figures in some sub-groups. Inhabitants immunity in opposition to yellow fever in lots of areas across the nation stays under herd immunity thresholds: the MICS 2016/2017 indicated that YF vaccination was 39% in kids aged 12 to 23 months. To deal with the chance of outbreaks and improve inhabitants immunity, the EYE technique PMVC element is being applied in phases. There are over 30 million doses of YF vaccine within the nation for PMVCs – with Delta and Bauchi among the many states deliberate for the present section of actions. Delta state was already scheduled for a PMVC in 2020. One LGA in Delta state and four LGAs in Bauchi state had a vaccination marketing campaign in 2019. This YF vaccine provide and related preparations might serve to fulfill the wants of outbreak response. The provides additionally embody sources akin to PPE and hand sanitizers for COVID-19 prevention in a mass vaccination marketing campaign. Enugu and Ebonyi usually are not included within the present deliberate PMVCs, nevertheless there’s a risk that vaccines and related provides within the nation may assist help an instantaneous response. By 2024, it’s anticipated that every one the states in Nigeria could have undergone marketing campaign actions to guard at-risk populations in opposition to yellow fever. This plan could also be additional up to date or accelerated primarily based on danger, vaccine availability, and implementation feasibility.

WHO danger evaluation

Nigeria is a high-risk nation for yellow fever. The re-emergence of yellow fever in September 2017 in Nigeria has been marked by outbreaks over a large geographical space. The yellow fever outbreaks reported in Bauchi, Benue and Katsina states from August to November 2019, with unfold to a number of different states confirmed an enlargement of YF transmission, and an elevated danger for YF outbreaks to quickly unfold and amplify, impacting areas with out prior reported circumstances since 2017 and in areas with giant beneath immunized populations. Within the present yr, suspected YF circumstances have been reported from all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and confirmed YF circumstances throughout 9 states (Delta, Enugu, Bauchi, Benue, Kogi, Oyo, Edo Kwara and Katsina). These new outbreaks in Bauchi, Delta and Enugu are affecting areas with out prior reported circumstances this yr and recommend underlying sustained excessive viral transmission within the epizootic cycle with spillover to human populations. Attributable to: the chance of unfold to different states with under-immunized populations, together with to giant city facilities; the excessive CFR; the potential for ongoing native transmission and amplification attributable to suboptimal vaccination protection; and the incidence of circumstances in peri-urban areas (e.g. in Delta State) and densely populated LGAs with proximity to Lagos, the chance is excessive.

There isn’t a entomological info at present obtainable for the affected LGAs, nevertheless earlier entomological surveys performed in 2018/2019 throughout outbreaks in settings of comparable local weather and vegetation in Ebonyi, Bauchi, Edo, Kogi and Kwara recognized grownup Aedes spp. mosquitos Nonetheless, the area is getting into the dry season (November to March) and vector densities are anticipated to be decrease. The vector, Aedes aegypti is just reasonably affected by drier situations and stays lively, and subsequently sustained vector-borne transmission inside human populations can’t be dominated out.

Nigeria is dealing with a number of concurrent public well being emergencies, together with circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (cVDPV), measles, monkeypox, Lassa fever and cholera outbreaks in addition to humanitarian disaster within the northeast of the nation. WHO continues to watch the epidemiological scenario and evaluate the chance evaluation primarily based on the newest obtainable info. At current, the Yellow Fever outbreaks are thought-about excessive danger at nationwide stage, low at regional and international ranges.

WHO recommendation

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness transmitted by contaminated mosquitoes and has the potential to unfold quickly and trigger critical public well being affect. There isn’t a particular remedy, though the illness is preventable utilizing a single dose of yellow fever vaccine, which supplies immunity for all times. Supportive care to deal with dehydration, respiratory failure and fever and antibiotic remedy for related bacterial infections can cut back mortality and is advisable.

Yellow fever is endemic in Nigeria, a precedence nation for the EYE technique. Accelerated phased YF PMVCs are deliberate to cowl your complete nation by 2024. Vaccination is the first intervention for prevention and management of yellow fever. In city centres, focused vector management measures are additionally useful to interrupt transmission. WHO and companions will proceed to help native authorities to implement these interventions to manage the present outbreak.

WHO recommends vaccination in opposition to yellow fever for all worldwide travellers from 9 months of age going to Nigeria. Nigeria requires a yellow fever vaccination certificates for all travellers aged 9 months or over as a situation of entry.

Yellow fever vaccines advisable by WHO are secure, extremely efficient and supply life-long safety in opposition to an infection. In accordance with the IHR (2005), the validity of the worldwide certificates of vaccination in opposition to yellow fever extends to the lifetime of the particular person vaccinated with a WHO accepted vaccine. A booster dose of accepted yellow fever vaccine can’t be required of worldwide travellers as a situation of entry.

WHO encourages Member States to take all actions essential to preserve travellers effectively knowledgeable of dangers and preventive measures, together with vaccination. Travellers also needs to be made conscious of yellow fever signs and indicators and are instructed to hunt speedy medical recommendation when presenting indicators. Viraemic returning travellers might pose a danger for the institution of native cycles of yellow fever transmission in areas the place the competent vector is current.

The up to date areas at-risk for yellow fever transmission and the associated suggestions for vaccination of worldwide travellers had been up to date by WHO on 1 July 2020 and can be found on the WHO Worldwide Journey and Well being web site (see under).

WHO doesn’t suggest any restrictions on journey or commerce to Nigeria primarily based on the knowledge obtainable on this outbreak.

For extra info on yellow fever, please see:


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