Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the institution has confirmed four cases of yellow fever in Bauchi State.
According to him, three of the confirmed cases are residents of Alkaleri Local Government Area (LGA) and the fourth case is a tourist who visited Kano State and the Yankari Games Reserve in the same LGA in Bauchi State.
Meanwhile, the Bauchi State government has ordered the respective agencies to commence immunization exercise.
According to Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, the State Government and other relevant Agencies have commenced immunisation and environmental management at Yankari Game Reserve and nearby communities.
Dr. Rilwanu made the statement while addressing newsmen over the recent prevailent situation of the outbreak in the State.
According to him, 600 residents of various communities in Duguri district of Alkaleri LGA had been immunized.
He further stated that Bauchi State Ministry of Health has received a report of a confirmed Yellow fever case from Kano State Ministry of Health Which was linked to Yankari Game Reserve, adding that they also received reports from Gombe and Borno States of suspected cases also linked to Yankari Game Reserve.
According to him, State Rapid Response team, comprising of all relevant stakeholders have visited Yankari Game Reserve and communities around the Game Reserve on Wednesday 4th September, 2019 to investigate the incidence.
“The team discovered that there was a possibility of Yellow fever outbreak which is being investigated. So far six samples have been collected from suspected cases for testing in the National Reference Laboratory and at the Regional Laboratory in Dakar – Senegal,” he said.
The Chairman said that additional investigations and other control measures are being put in place by the State with the support of Agencies and relevant partners in the State and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is ongoing.
He urged the general public not to panic as government is doing everything possible to safeguard the health of the people.
Since it was notified, the NCDC has collaborated with the State epidemiologists of the affected States and the World Health Organisation (WHO) country office to investigate these events.
“We have also deployed a rapid response team to support Bauchi State to carry out further in-depth investigations, including case finding, risk communications, and support the management of cases. Samples of the other suspected cases from Bauchi and Borno States are currently being transported to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja for further testing.
“Today, we activated our Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate the response to this outbreak,” Ihekweazu said.
“Yellow Fever virus is spread through bites of an infected mosquito. There is no human-to-human transmission of the virus. Yellow fever is a completely vaccine preventable disease and a single shot of the yellow fever vaccine protects for a lifetime. The yellow fever vaccine is available for free in all primary healthcare centres in Nigeria as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule. We encourage every family to ensure that children receive all their childhood vaccines,” he stated.
Healthcare workers and members of the public have been further informed by the institution that the symptoms of yellow fever include yellowness of the eyes, sudden fever, headache and body pain.