JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan health officials on Thursday declared
an outbreak of the deadly yellow fever viral disease in the
southwestern part of the country bordering the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).
Makur Matur Koriom,
Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, said a suspected Ebola
case found in Nzara County, Gbudue State, near the DRC border
has been confirmed positive with the yellow fever after
preliminary testing was conducted last week.
“The ministry of
health would like to inform the public that there is a confirmed
outbreak of yellow fever in Supiri village in Nzara County of
Gbudue State,” Koriom told reporters in Juba.
He said a rapid
response team composed of government officials and World Health
Organization (WHO) staff was dispatched to Supiri on Nov. 24 to
investigate and collect sample from the suspected case.
The sample was
transported to Juba at the national laboratory for preliminary
gene expert testing and eventually to the Uganda Virus Research
Institute for confirmatory testing.
that the results were confirmed negative for all Ebola species.
“The advice given to
local people is that they should only stay in Supiri until the
results of the blood test is reviewed.”
“They have been
advised not to travel to the DRC unless it is urgent,” he said,
adding that they were conducting surveillance and engaging
communities on the disease.
Officer in Charge for WHO South Sudan, said yellow fever is
dangerous and it can kill up to 50 percent of the people it
infects and it can spread very fast within a short period.
“We will work
closely with MOH (ministry of health) and other partners that
are on ground to make sure that we are able to deploy more
teams, train more health workers along the border,” said Liyosi.
Yellow fever is a
viral disease with symptoms which include fever, chills, loss of
appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and
headaches, abdominal pain occurs, and liver damage begins
causing yellow skin.
The disease is
caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of an
infected female mosquito. It infects only humans, other
primates, and several species of mosquitoes.
In cities, it is
spread primarily by Aedes aegypti, a type of mosquito found
throughout the tropics and subtropics. The virus is an RNA virus
of the genus Flavivirus.
outbreak was reported by WHO in Sudan’s South Kordofan region in
2005, and the most recent in 2012 in Darfur region.
South Sudan has also
increased Ebola alertness and response in the Yei, Yambio areas
which border Uganda and the DRC respectively. Ebola epidemic has
caused death of over 200 people in the DRC.