Field Epidemiologists Assist Angola with Response to Yellow Fever Outbreak

TEPHINET, The Task Force’s field epidemiology training program, recently deployed eight field epidemiologists to Angola in response to an outbreak of yellow fever in the country.

The field epidemiologists are assisting in the implementation of an emergency vaccination campaign coordinated by the Angolan Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak was detected in May 2015. To date, more than 3,800 confirmed and suspected cases have been identified and more than 350 deaths have been reported nationally.

Angola has not experienced a yellow fever outbreak in 30 years. As part of their work in the country, the field epidemiologists will be investigating the source of the outbreak and assist with efforts to prevent the disease from resurfacing. TEPHINET will send additional field epidemiologists to Angola if the need arises for a second wave of assistance.

Yellow fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes that causes jaundice, serious liver damage, and, in later stages, death.

ProEpi, a national Brazilian field epidemiology association and TEPHINET partner, facilitated the deployment of the field epidemiologists. The response is part of TEPHINET’s ongoing efforts to mobilize field epidemiology graduates through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) to areas affected by disease outbreaks.

Photo caption: Epidemiologist Erika Rosseto (right) and WHO representative João Luvunga (left) comb medical registries for suspected cases of yellow fever.

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