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Fighting Yellow Fever in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The two African countries of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo were facing a major outbreak of yellow fever in spring and summer of 2016. The virus is transmitted by the Egyptian tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti) which is indigenous to both countries.

The outbreak began in December 2015 in Luanda, the capital of Angola. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been approximately 4,000 suspected cases of yellow fever across the country; every tenth person died. Nine hundred cases were confirmed by laboratory diagnosis, but since 23 June 2016, there have been no further confirmed cases anywhere in the country. In the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo some 2,400 suspected cases have been registered; since 12 July 2016, no more confirmed cases have been reported here. According to the World Health Organisation, the epidemic is now under control.

Staff from the Robert Koch Institute were supporting international efforts to contain the yellow fever outbreak. In August 2015, an RKI team set up a European Mobile Laboratory (EMLab) for yellow fever diagnostics at Kahemba, a Congolese city on the border with Angola. Back in May and June 2016, RKI epidemiologists visited the areas on behalf of the WHO and the European Medical Corps to assess the epidemiological situation and help prepare for mass vaccinations. The pictures taken by RKI staff trace the various activities in the outbreak area.

A high-security laboratory in boxes: diagnosing yellow fever in the Angola-DR Congo border area

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Mosquito protection and mass vaccination: containing yellow fever in DR Congo

Emilie Peron (2nd from left) and colleagues from WHO. Source: © RKI

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Does the yellow fever outbreak affect Europe? With the European Medical Corps in Angola

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Date: 27.09.2016