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UN health agency backs mass yellow fever vaccination campaign in Guinea

UN health agency backs mass yellow fever vaccination campaign in Guinea

Aedes mosquito which spreads yellow fever
A large-scale yellow fever vaccination campaign has been slated for later this month in Guinea after the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed two men had contracted the deadly disease in the West African nation.

The WHO regional laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, established that the two men – both 40 years-old and from the central Guinean Faranah district located on the Niger River – had been infected with the deadly disease since exhibiting symptoms of jaundice and fever in early November.

Another 21 suspected yellow fever cases, of which three died, were also reported to the regional laboratory according to a press release issued today by WHO.

In reaction to the recent outbreak, the campaign – slated for 26 January – aims to inoculate around 60,500 people in the Faranah district using a stockpile of vaccines funded by the UN-supported public-private alliance known as GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).

Yellow fever, which is spread by mosquitoes, derives its name from the jaundice that affects some sufferers, who tend to experience fever, muscle pain, headaches, loss of appetite, vomiting and/or nausea. While most patients recover, the disease can be deadly and the number of infected people has risen in recent years, despite the availability of an effective vaccine.