Yellow Fever Could Spread, Charity Warns

Yellow Fever Could Spread, Charity WarnsYellow Fever Could Spread, Charity Warns

An outbreak of yellow fever that has killed hundreds of people in central Africa could spread across the world, an international children’s charity warned on Tuesday, even as a massive vaccination campaign was expected to get underway.

The Democratic Republic of Congo declared a yellow fever epidemic in June after the hemorrhagic virus spread from Angola, where at least 360 people have died since last December.

A wide effort to bring the outbreak under control by vaccinating more than 10 million people in DRC was due to start this week after delays due to shortages of vaccine, Reuters reported.

“There is no known cure for yellow fever and it could go global,” said Save the Children in a statement.

The yellow fever vaccine takes one year to manufacture. The charity said there are only 7 million emergency vaccines after stocks were depleted in series of outbreaks earlier this year.

The World Health Organization advisers have recommended using a fifth of the standard dose of vaccine in the event of a global shortage - enough to immunize temporarily but not to give lifelong immunity.