Angola, Luanda: The World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have said, a yellow fever epidemic has killed 158 people in Angola, with more than 50 deaths occuring last month alone. A WHO representative in the capital, Luanda, said on Today that the “possibility of spreading to other provinces” was much higher and deaths due to the viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes has been accelerating.
Hernando Agudelo Ospina said, “The possibility of spreading out to other provinces or even to the all country is much higher than if it had happened in a rural area”. “This is an urban pattern of outbreak of Yellow Fever and it is much more complicated to tackle and deal with.” Angola lies in the yellow fever belt of Africa where 90 percent of about 60,000 annual global deaths occur due to the disease, according to WHO data. An estimated 84,000–170,000 severe cases of yellow fever occur in Africa.
There is no specific treatment for the viral haemorrhagic disease which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America’s Amazon region. Vaccination is the best preventive measure against the disease. Poor sanitation has been the main cause of the outbreak as it provides a fertile breeding ground for mosquites.
City authorities have slashed their budget for rubbish collection to cope with a budget crisis, leaving piles of waste building up in poorer suburbs including Viana, where the first case of yellow fever was reported in late December. Yellow fever symptoms include severe headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, according to WHO. The disease can enter a toxic phase in some people, leading to organ failure and death.