BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The Asian and African continents are exposed to yellow fever again. The epidemic has already killed four hundred people and thousands more are sick. The governments of the countries affected and the World Health Organization are doing their best to keep the situation under control because of a vaccine shortage.
Instead of a full vaccine, people receive a smaller dose, which can protect them from yellow fever for a year.
The outbreak has been traced to the end of 2015 in Luanda, Angola. The World Health Organization and the Angolan Government have been making efforts to curb the transmission ever since the beginning. But it takes too much time for them to make the vaccine, while yellow fever continues to spread quickly.
Making a batch of vaccine can last for up to six months. The vaccine is called 17D and it was designed in 1930 by Max Theiler and his team, to prevent the spread of yellow fever. At present, there is no cure for this virus. The vaccine involves technology that has not been changed since the 30’s.
There are six companies which make yellow fever vaccines worldwide. Together they produced fifty million to a hundred million doses per year. The number fell behind yellow fever epidemic rates and has allowed the virus to spread by the thousands.
In May, 20th, 2016 there were 2,420 cases of the virus and 298 deaths in Angola only. However, the virus has crossed borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and even China. This is why the latest international health guidelines stop unvaccinated people from entering a country exposed to this dangerous virus.
The dangerous disease is caused by the virus of yellow fever, which is mosquito born. It is mainly found in Sub-Saharan Africa and tropical areas. The bite of these mosquitoes can lead to infection. Once they get yellow fever, people turn yellow and many eventually die, as there is no cure for yellow fever.
The good news is that only fifteen percent of the people who get the infection develop the severe form of the virus. Of those who are affected by a severe form of yellow fever, twenty to fifty percent die.
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