Emergencies preparedness, response

Yellow fever in the Republic of the Congo

As of 1 April 2009 the Ministry of Health of the Republic of the Congo reported one case of yellow Fever detected on 28 January 2009 by the epidemiological surveillance system for yellow fever. The case was initially laboratory tested at the Institut National de Recherche Biomedical (INRB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequently laboratory-confirmed at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar, the regional WHO collaborating centre for yellow fever.

The index case was a 55 year-old male farmer living in Mbama district, Cuvette West Department. He initially presented with acute abdominal pain and subsequently developed fever and jaundice. He was first evaluated in health facilities in Mbama district and was then referred to the district hospital in Ewo district.

From the 23 to 25 March 2009, a yellow fever outbreak investigation team composed of specialists from the MoH and WHO visited Mbama district. No further cases were detected. The samples were sent for laboratory analysis at the Institut Pasteur, Dakar and confirmed by YF seroneutralization, a highly specific test for yellow fever.

The Republic of the Congo had previously benefited from mass vaccination during the years 1930 to 1960. The last outbreak reported was in 1981, and no cases have been confirmed since. The outbreak response vaccination campaign will cover a target population of 73,011 people and has been planned for 6 May 2009.