By the Blouin News Science & Health staff

Angola hit by yellow fever outbreak, vaccine shortage

by in Medicine.

Yellow fever vaccination center. (Source: Bill Cooney/flickr)

Yellow fever vaccination center. (Source: Bill Cooney/flickr)

Angola’s Health Minister Luís Gomes Sambo announced on Tuesday that about 2,000 more people will be joining the health sector in the near future to better serve the population. The increase cannot come soon enough — the country is suffering its worst outbreak of yellow fever in three decades, with over 1,100 diagnosed since December and at least 178 dead. The mosquito-borne disease has already spread to 10 out of the country’s 18 provinces, and neighboring countries are on high alert.

There is no treatment for yellow fever, but there is a vaccine. Accordingly, the government is aiming to vaccinate the 6.5 million residents of the capital Luanda, where the epidemic began. To date, some 5.7 million people in Luanda have been vaccinated, but the World Health Organization’s emergency stockpile of the vaccine has now been exhausted.

“It’s possible we could run out of vaccine,” said Dr. Tom Frieden…

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