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Yellow Fever Outbreak ‘Serious’ But Does Not Qualify As Emergency, WHO Committee Says, Calls For Action

Associated Press: U.N.: Yellow fever outbreak is “serious” but not an emergency
“The World Health Organization says the ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in central Africa is ‘serious and of great concern’ but does not warrant being declared a global emergency…” (5/19).

CNN: WHO: Yellow fever outbreak is ‘serious and of great concern’
“…The WHO held an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday to review the latest information about the outbreak that began in December. The committee said the outbreak does not constitute a public health emergency…” (Goldschmidt, 5/19).

NBC News: Yellow Fever in Africa Not Quite an Emergency, WHO Says
“…Most cases are in Angola, where 2,257 suspected cases are reported. But the virus has been carried by migrant workers to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Kenya, and 11 travelers have carried it to China…” (Fox, 5/19).

New York Times: WHO Calls Yellow Fever in Africa ‘Serious Concern’
“…In April, the WHO warned that its emergency stock of yellow fever vaccine was close to exhaustion. But increased manufacturing capacity by the four companies making the vaccine and diversion of doses away from routine vaccination to Africa has brought the stockpile back to its normal level of six million doses, which could triple within a few months, said Dr. Bruce Aylward, the agency’s executive director for outbreaks and health emergencies…” (McNeil, 5/19).

Reuters: Yellow fever outbreaks in Africa need action, mass vaccination: WHO
“… ‘The big push really is around surveillance and laboratory diagnostics capacity so that if people start turning yellow and dying, you get diagnostics rapidly and vaccination,’ Aylward told Reuters…” (Nebehay, 5/19).

Science: Yellow fever threat is ‘serious’ but not an ’emergency,’ WHO says
“…The chair of the WHO emergency committee, Nigerian virologist Oyewale Tomori, said that the affected countries need to make absolutely sure that visitors are vaccinated against the virus. He added that surveillance needs to be intensified, mass vaccinations organized, and risk communication improved…” (Kupferschmidt, 5/19).

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