Emergencies preparedness, response

WHO Report on Global Surveillance of Epidemic-prone Infectious Diseases - Yellow fever


  • Yellow fever is an important public health threat, which needs more attention. Currently it is endemic in Africa and South America, but other continents, particularly Asia, with mosquitos that are known to transmit yellow fever virus must be considered potentially at risk.
  • The efficacy of immunization has been well documented historically, and immunization of at-risk populations is the most important action to take for the prevention of epidemics. Yellow fever control programmes have lapsed in many countries, and current levels of immunization are well below their targets.
  • In the absence of adequate immunization levels, surveillance for yellow fever cases is essential to rapidly control disease outbreaks. Physicians must promptly report suspected cases, and health officials in at-risk countries should have laboratory capacity to perform diagnostic tests for yellow fever. Monitoring and surveillance of yellow fever incident cases and immunization coverage need strengthening to assess risk and detect outbreaks.