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14 JUNE 2013 -The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is launching an emergency mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever from 20 June 2013, following laboratory confirmation of six cases in the country on 6 June 2013.
The six laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from 3 health zones: Lubao (4 cases), Kamana (1 case) and Ludimbi-Lukula (1 case). They were identified through the national surveillance programme for yellow fever. The laboratory confirmation was done by the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, a WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever.
Preliminary outbreak investigation revealed that the index case is a 16-year-old boy from Kisengua village in the Lubao Health Zone who became ill on 1 March 2013. The outbreak investigation team has also identified 51 suspected cases including 19 deaths, in the three health zones. Serum samples have been taken from 13 patients and are being analyzed in the Institute National of Biomedical Research (INRB).
The mass vaccination campaign aims to cover at least 503,426 people in the three affected health zones.
12 MARCH 2013 -The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed WHO of a new confirmed case of infection with the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
The patient, a 39-year-old male, developed symptoms on 24 February 2013. He was hospitalized on 28 February 2013 and died on 2 March 2013. Preliminary investigation indicated that the patient had no contact with previously reported cases of nCoV infection. Other potential exposures are under investigation.
To date, WHO has been informed of a global total of 15 confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including nine deaths.
Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States (MS) to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. WHO is currently working with international experts and countries where cases have been reported to assess the situation and review recommendations for surveillance and monitoring.
All MS are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with nCoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.
14 FEBRUARY 2013 -The Ministry of Health of Chad is launching an emergency mass-vaccination campaign against yellow fever from 22 February 2013, following laboratory confirmation of two cases in the country in December 2012.
The two cases from Goz Beida and Guereda districts, were laboratory confirmation by a WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever, Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal. They were identified through the national surveillance programme for yellow fever, following intensive surveillance which was triggered in response to the outbreak of yellow fever in neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur region. The intensive surveillance in Chad also reported 139 suspected cases and 9 deaths.
The vaccination campaign will be conducted in 3 districts bordering Darfur, Sudan, namely Goz Beida, Guereda and Adré, targeting over a million people, including inhabitants of refugee camps in the area.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Congo is launching an emergency mass-vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Ewo District in Cuvette-Ouest region, beginning next week.
The emergency vaccination campaign aims to cover approximately 35,000 people in three health districts of Mbama, Ewo and Okoyo, all of which belong to the administrative district of Ewo.
The emergency vaccination campaign is being carried out after recent confirmation of a case with yellow fever virus infection that occurred in October 2012. The case was identified through the national surveillance programme for yellow fever.Laboratory confirmation was done at Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale Kinshasa (INRB), and reconfirmed by a WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever, Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal.
22 NOVEMBER 2012 -The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Sudan began a 10-day mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Darfur on 20 November 2012, in response to the outbreak.
As of 17 November 2012, the outbreak is reported to have affected 26 localities, with a total of 459 suspected cases including 116 deaths. Two cases were confirmed by IgM ELISA test and RT-PCR by the WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever, the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal. An outbreak investigation team led by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO are in the field to assess the extent of the outbreak and prioritize areas for the mass vaccination campaign.
With support from the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG), the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), the vaccination campaign will be carried out in the most affected 12 localities in Darfur region, targeting approximately 2.2 million people.
The YF-ICG is a partnership which manages stockpile of yellow fever vaccines for emergency response. It is represented by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and WHO, which also serves as the Secretariat.
Seven INGOs, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, MSF-Belgium, MSF-Spain, MSF-Swiss, Merlin, Save the Children-Swiss, and International Medical Corps are currently working in the 12 localities prioritized for the vaccination campaign. They will actively support the FMOH in this emergency response.
WHO is supporting the State Ministries of Health in conducting field investigations to better assess the epidemiological situation and the risk of disease spread, as well as on-the-job trainings for health staff to strengthen their disease surveillance systems and to improve collection of samples and laboratory diagnosis.
The risk of international spread is greater than before. In the past devastating outbreaks occurred mainly in sea ports. Today, most cities are connected to most of the world by more rapid means of transport, train or plane. So far, the virus circulation has remained within the borders of historically endemic countries, but the virus could spread quickly and cause epidemics in areas with a high density of vectors and a non immune population.