By Prince Oben Agbor in Kumba - In response to a suspected yellow fever case confirmed positive and presently living in Kumba Town, the Ministry of Public Health is carrying out a six day emergency mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever in the Kumba and Muyuka Health Districts. The campaign that started on June 21, 2010 will end on June 26, 2010.
From 9 months and above
In a release number D61\SWR\RDPH\RCU-EPI\DM.DS\Log\5678\525 of 10 June, 2010, the Regional Delegate of Public Health for the South West, Dr. Chuwanga John Ndengue, states that the exercise targets everybody from 9 months and above, but with the exception of people suffering from immunodeficiency disorders and pregnant women.
Free of charge
The activity which is free of charge is being carried out using two main strategies: The Fixed - at all Health Centres and Mobile Fixed - from community to community. The populations of Kumba and Muyuka have been called upon to make good use of this important Emergency campaign that ensures protection against this killer epidemic Yellow Fever.
Bite of infected mosquitoes
It should be noted that yellow fever is an acute viral disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes, Aedes aegyptii mosquitoes, the Tiger Mosquitoes. The virus can be transmitted in the following ways: transmission from monkey to monkey, from monkey to man, from man to man and from mother mosquito to the eggs then the larvae. The incubation period, that is the time from infection to illness, is usually 3-6 days.
Also worthy of note is that, yellow fever is not “contagious” in the usual sense because it cannot be transmitted from one person to the other by coughing or contamination of food and water but rather is a hemorrhagic illness that has the potential to cause uncontrolled bleeding from the intestinal lining, gums, and nose of the patient. It begins suddenly with fever, headache, chills, back pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting but may resolve within six days.
20 percent of the cases fatal
Meanwhile, 15 percent of the cases enter a second phase, the toxic phase, characterised by; recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, abdominal pain, bleeding in the mouth, the eyes and in the gastrointestinal tract, vomits containing blood. The toxic phase is in 20 percent of the cases fatal and surviving the infection causes life-long immunity and normally there are no remaining organ damages.
No specific treatment
Health experts say, there is no specific treatment for yellow fever but treatment is symptomatic. Prevention of yellow fever includes vaccination and destruction of tiger mosquitos’ breeding grounds and equally environmental sanitation. The protective effect of the vaccine is established 10 days after vaccination and lasts for at least10 years.
A total of 261.549 and 84.445 persons are targeted in the Kumba Health District and Muyuka Health Districts respectively.
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