Republic of Kenya Confirms Yellow Fever Fatalities

Yellow fever vaccines are effective and globally available
little kenyan children
(Precision Vaccinations)

The government of the Republic of Kenya recently activated its health emergency response mechanisms following the death of three persons attributed to an outbreak of yellow fever in Isiolo County.

According to Acting Director-General of Health Patrick Amoth, the first yellow fever case was detected on January 12, 2022, while 15 patients presented with fever, jaundice, muscle, and joint pains have been line-listed.

And as of March 5, 2022, three related deaths were reported, a 20% fatality rate.

“Out of the six samples analyzed, three turned positive through serology (immunoglobulin M) and PCR.”

“This is therefore to raise the alert in 47 counties, more so the high-risk counties of Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Meru, Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana.” Said Amoth in a media statement issued on March 14, 2022.

According to Amoth, the national government and partners are mobilizing resources to support response activities even as he advised high-risk counties to mobilize resources to support response and prevention activities.

The health ministry plans to conduct yellow fever vaccination in Isiolo and other high-risk counties following the outbreak.

Yellow fever (YF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species. Once contacted, it incubates in the body for three to six days, followed by symptoms that include fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. In severe cases, patients develop jaundice and bleeding.

In areas of Africa with a persistent circulation of the YF virus, natural immunity accumulates with age. Consequently, the U.S. CDC says infants and children are at the highest risk for disease.

For leisure travel to endemic areas, the CDC suggests a single lifetime dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient for most travelers.

Effective yellow fever vaccines have been available for more than 80 years. 

Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for people aged nine months or older and traveling to or living in areas at risk for the yellow fever virus.

In 2022, the U.S. FDA continues to approve the YF-Vax yellow fever vaccine for international travelers, while most of the world has access to the Stamaril vaccine.

Previously, the U.S. CDC issued a Travel Health Notice in December 2021, alerting visitors of their potential yellow fever health risk when visiting Nigeria, a neighbor of Kenya.

Furthermore, be aware that if a country does not require an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis for yellow fever, it does not necessarily mean that there is no risk of yellow fever in that country.

PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-checked research-based vaccine news.

Note: This news article edited the content sources for clarity and was curated for mobile readers.