Yellow Fever Scare in Angola

Yellow Fever Scare in AngolaYellow Fever Scare in Angola

An epidemic of yellow fever, first reported in January, has been spreading rapidly in Angola. As of last month, the country had 2,023 suspected yellow fever cases and 258 deaths.

Evidence is mounting that the current outbreak of yellow fever is becoming the latest global health emergency, said two Georgetown University professors earlier this month urging the World Health Organization to convene an emergency committee under the International Health Regulations. In addition, with frequent emerging epidemics, they called for the creation of a "standing emergency committee" to be prepared for future health emergencies, gumc. reported.

Daniel Lucey and Lawrence O. Gostin, of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown, explained that the ongoing spread, and potential future spread, of yellow fever coupled with a limited vaccine supply should compel the WHO to "urgently convene an emergency committee to mobilize funds, coordinate an international response, and spearhead a surge in vaccine production."

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) had declared an epidemiological alert on April 22 for yellow fever in Latin America, where the Aedes aegypti mosquito vector is also actively transmitting Zika and dengue viruses.