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Uganda: 2020 Yellow Fever

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  • Uganda: 2020 Yellow Fever


    Three dead as yellow fever outbreak is confirmed in Northern Uganda
    Friday January 24 2020

    The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of yellow fever in Northern Uganda after three people died in Moyo and Buliisa Districts.

    While addressing a joint news conference with officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Kampala this morning, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said laboratory tests confirmed four cases after they were reported from the two districts.

    She says the two people who died in Moyo were timber traders suspected to have contracted the disease in South Sudan where they were operating. While the one who died in Buliisa was a DR Congo-based milk dealer...

  • #2
    Press Statement on Yellow Fever in Moyo and Buliisa districts in Uganda

    Kampala, 27 Januarry 2020:- The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public of the confirmation of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Moyo District in West Nile region and Buliisa District in Hoima region.
    In Moyo District, there are two confirmed cases, both are males aged 18 and 21 years. The two cases were dealing in cutting and trading timber between Uganda and South Sudan. On 2 January 2020, the two cases travelled from South Sudan to Moyo.
    Upon arrival, they got ill and on 3 January 2020, they were admitted at Logobo Health Center III in Moyo District. They were later referred to Moyo General Hospital with symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, abdominal and joint pain, confusion and unexplained bleeding.
    Unfortunately, they later died in the isolation ward of Moyo General Hospital. Blood samples were withdrawn and sent for testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). Results from UVRI confirmed Yellow Fever infection.
    In Buliisa, there are also two 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). On 31 October 2019, he visited Buliisa Hospital with a headache, vomiting, and abdominal pain and received supportive treatment. He died on 4 November 2019 at Buliisa Hospital. At this time, there was little suspicion, however, his blood sample was withdrawn and sent to UVRI for testing. On 10 December 2019, the sample tested positive for Yellow fever virus. This prompted our teams to follow up with investigations, samples were collected from seven of his contacts, including his wife. On 22 January 2020, the wife tested positive for Yellow Fever virus. The other 6 samples tested negative. She is alive and well.
    The district health teams of Moyo and Buliisa have initiated investigations. In addition, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) have dispatched Rapid Response Teams to Moyo and Buliisa Districts to support: investigations, active search for cases, community mobilization and sensitization.
    The Ministry of Health has requested for the Yellow Fever vaccines from the International Coordination Group that manages Global Stockpiles of Yellow Fever and Meningitis vaccines. We anticipate that within the next two weeks, vaccines will be available and vaccination will commence in Moyo and Buliisa districts.
    Ministry of Health has also applied to GAVI and WHO for the 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.
    Yellow fever is a disease transmitted through bites of mosquitoes infected by the Yellow Fever virus (flavirvirus). Symptoms include: high fever, headache, general body aches, fatigue, vomiting, blood in urine or stool and or yellow discoloration of skin and or eyes.
    The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public to observe the following;
    • All travellers in and out of the country MUST be vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Travelers are urged to comply with this travel requirement to ensure that the risk of spread of yellow fever through international travel is minimized.
    • The population are advised to always sleep under a mosquito net
    • Report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility

    In conclusion, The Ministry of Health re-echoes its call to the public to cooperate with officials during the investigation and response to the outbreaks. The Ministry would also like to re-assure Ugandans and all other residents that with the experience and expertise available in the country, the disease will be contained.
    We appeal to the public to remain calm and vigilant and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call our toll-free number 0800-203-033


    • #3

      Week 5: 27 January - 2 February 2020
      Data as reported by: 17:00; 2 February 2020
      Yellow fever Uganda

      5 Cases
      3 Deaths
      60% CFR


      On 24 January 2020, the Ministry of Health in Uganda declared an
      outbreak of yellow fever in two separate districts, namely Moyo in
      West Nile region and Buliisa in the western region.

      In the latest event in Moyo District, test results of two specimens
      released by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) on 22 January
      2020 were positive for yellow fever virus infection by polymerase
      chain reaction (PCR). This event initially involved two young men
      aged 18 and 21 years, both South Sudan refugees living in Moyo
      District, who travelled to South Sudan-Uganda border between 31
      December 2019 and 1 January 2020 for timber logging. On their
      return to Moyo on 2 January 2020, the 21-year-old developed a
      febrile illness, followed by the 18-year-old the next day. The two
      case-patients presented to the local health facility (Logobo Health
      Centre III) on 3 January 2020 and were subsequently referred to
      Moyo General Hospital on 5 January 2020, with the cardinal clinical
      features of mental disorientation, vomiting (coffee grounds) and
      passing melaena stools. The case-patients died on 5 and 6 January
      2020, and post-mortem blood specimens were collected and
      shipped to the UVRI for testing, and yellow fever was subsequently

      Retrospectively, it has been established that two women died in
      early January 2020 in the same community with haemorrhagic
      manifestations. Both women were buried without testing and
      are now being classified as probable yellow fever cases. A blood
      specimen collected from the husband of one of the deceased women
      has tested positive for yellow fever at the UVRI.

      In an earlier event in Buliisa District, two cases of yellow fever were
      confirmed between December 2019 and January 2020. This event
      involved a couple – a 37-year-old man and a 38-year-old female
      – who were cattle farmers, with the man frequently selling milk
      between Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The man
      fell ill and presented to Buliisa Hospital on 31 October 2019 with
      symptoms of headache, vomiting, and abdominal pain. He received
      supportive treatment but died on 4 November 2019 at Buliisa
      Hospital. His post-mortem blood specimen tested positive for yellow
      fever virus infection on 10 December 2019 at UVRI. This event
      prompted an investigation in December 2019 and blood specimens
      were collected from seven close contacts on 20 December 2019 and
      sent to the UVRI. The wife to the deceased tested positive for yellow
      fever virus on 22 January 2020, and she is alive and well. The other
      six samples tested negative.

      In total, five laboratory confirmed yellow fever cases have been
      reported in Moyo (n=3) and Buliisa (n=2) districts, including three
      deaths (two in Moyo and one in Buliisa). Additionally, two probable
      and eight suspected cases have been recorded in Moyo Districts,
      and the test results of the suspected cases are being awaited.


      The Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched rapid response
      teams to Moyo District to support investigations, active case
      search, community mobilization and sensitization.

      A team of field epidemiologists from the Ministry of Health and
      Makerere University School of Public Health have been deployed
      to Buliisa District, where they are investigating the outbreak,
      conducting an active search, mentoring health workers in yellow
      fever detection and reporting.

      Samples collected from suspected cases were shipped and are
      being tested at the arboviral laboratory in the UVRI.

      A community yellow fever case definition has been provided to
      community members who are advised to report any alert cases
      to the health facility or contact a hotline for further assistance if

      Risk communication is being conducted in the affected districts
      to sensitize the populations on preventive measures against
      yellow fever.

      A yellow fever vaccination campaign is planned in both affected

      The Ministry of Health has applied to GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance)
      and WHO for inclusion of yellow fever vaccination into the routine
      immunization schedule as a long-term measure to prevent yellow
      fever outbreaks.


      Uganda is designated as a high-risk country for yellow fever in the
      “Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE)” strategy, with a history of
      recent outbreaks in 2010, 2016 and 2019. The affected communities
      have largely been rural, with documented sylvatic transmission. In
      the current outbreak, the affected districts are located close to the
      borders with South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
      the presence of the yellow fever vector in the affected areas, as well
      as frequent population movements between the countries, presents
      the potential for international spread of the outbreak. Urgent measures
      need to be taken to contain this outbreak through reactive vaccination
      exercises and enhanced surveillance. Additionally, the country needs
      to fast-track the process of introducing yellow fever vaccine into the
      routine immunization programme as a long-term preventive measure.
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela