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Mixed Reaction as Epidemiologists Arrive in Moyo to Document Yellow Fever

The team leader Dr Peter Muwereza says that the team will sensitise residents on the disease in addition to compiling an on-site report about the yellow fever threat in the district. He added that the Ministry is also mobilizing resources to carry out mass vaccination against yellow fever in the district.

Audio 4

Three Epidemiologists from the Health Ministry have pitched camp in Moyo to support the district response to an outbreak of Yellow Fever in the area.

The Ministry of Health declared the yellow fever outbreak in the country on January 24, 2020, after laboratory tests on the samples from three suspected cases from Moyo and Buliisa districts turned out positive. Three people have so far been confirmed dead in the district since the declaration.

The team leader Dr Peter Muwereza says that the team will sensitise residents on the disease in addition to compiling an on-site report about the yellow fever threat in the district. He added that the Ministry is also mobilizing resources to carry out mass vaccination against yellow fever in the district.   

Dr Muwereza was addressing the District Yellow Fever Task Force during a meeting held in the Chief Administrative Officers boardroom.

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But Moyo District Vice Chairperson and District Health Secretary JB Sam Assusi said that it is unnecessary for the Epidemiologists to go to the district and visit villages where they are confirmed cases of yellow fever to educate leaders and health workers instead of commencing with the vaccination exercise.  

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Some of the Task Force members also expressed mixed sentiments on the arrival of epidemiologists in the district.

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However, Lillian Bulage, one of the field epidemiologists told the meeting that even if resources were available, it would still require the Health Ministry to first plan how to go about with the vaccination instead of rushing it.     

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Maurine Nabatanzi, another Epidemiologist told the meeting that the draft and proposed dates for the yellow fever mass vaccination run from January to March 2020.

Yellow fever is an acute viral disease that causes fever, yellowing of the eyes and bleeding from any part of the body. After three to six days of infection with the virus, signs and symptoms that include fever; muscle pain, backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting present.

The virus that causes yellow fever mainly affects monkeys. Mosquitoes pick the disease from the infected monkeys and transmit it to humans who enter or work in forests inhibited with monkeys. The mosquitoes then transmit the virus from person to person leading to the spread of the disease in the community.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever but everyone from a community or country where a case has been confirmed in a laboratory should be vaccinated. 

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