29 Nov 2017

Nigeria: yellow fever outbreaks

Suspected and confirmed cases of yellow fever reported to the World Health Organization Nigeria: yellow fever outbreaks

On 14 September 2017, the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria reported an outbreak of yellow fever to the World Health Organization (WHO). The first case was confirmed in Ifelodun Local Government Area (LGA) in Kwara State, on 12 September 2017 [1].

This outbreak is ongoing; as of 14 November 2017, a total of 260 suspected cases have been reported in the states of Abia, Borno, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Plateau, Zamfara, Enugu, Oyo, Anambra, Edo and Lagos [2]. In addition, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has reported suspected cases in Kano and Nasarwa States (not confirmed by WHO) [3]. Confirmed cases (27) have been reported in Kwara, Kogi and Zamfara states; seven of the confirmed cases have died so far in this outbreak [2]. Public health response measures, including intensified surveillance and vaccination campaigns, are continuing.

This is the first outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria to be reported to the WHO since 2000 [3].

Information on some disease outbreaks, including yellow fever, can be found on our Country Information pages and Outbreak Surveillance database.

Advice for travellers

Yellow fever is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. You should take insect bite avoidance measures, day and night, when visiting countries with a risk of any disease transmitted by insects.

Although there is no requirement for a certificate of vaccination for entry to Nigeria (unless arriving from another country with yellow fever risk), yellow fever vaccination is recommended for your personal protection if you are travelling to any part of Nigeria. One dose of yellow fever vaccine will, in most circumstances, provide lifelong protection against this disease. You should seek advice from a health professional if you need to clarify your vaccination status.

You can search for a Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre (YFVC) on the Yellow Fever Zone YFVC database.

Full details of yellow fever vaccination recommendations can be found on our Country Information pages; Travellers are reminded that countries may change their certificate requirements at short notice.

Advice for health professionals

Nigeria is a country classified by WHO as having evidence of evidence of persistent or periodic yellow fever virus transmission. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers to Nigeria aged ≥ 9 months of age [4]. An individual risk assessment should be undertaken.

YF certificate requirements are not necessarily connected to the risk of disease for a traveller. An International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis is only required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving in Nigeria from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission [4].

Country specific information, including vaccine recommendations, certificate requirement and detail on current outbreak situations can be accessed on the Nigeria Country Information page.

Under International Health Regulations (2005), countries are no longer required to automatically report YF outbreaks to the WHO; surveillance and reporting of YF in YF risk countries can be poor.

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