Birthday of Yellow Fever pioneer met with Yellow fever in Sudan
The Cuban physician Carlos J Finlay has been honoured with a Google Doodle on the 180th anniversary of his birth, December 3rd, 1833.
Finlay is credited with discovering that yellow fever is transmitted via infected mosquitos, though his ideas were ignored for 20 years after first being published in 1886.
Ironically, on December 3rd, 2013, the World Health Organization released a press statement of a Yellow fever outbreak in Sudan.
The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Sudan has notified WHO of a yellow fever (YF) outbreak affecting twelve localities in West and South Kordofan states. The affected localities are Lagawa, Kailak, Muglad and Abyei localities in West Kordofan and Elreef Alshargi, Abu Gibaiha, Ghadir, Habila, Kadugli, Altadamon, Talodi and Aliri in South Kordofan.
Between 3 October and 24 November 2013, a total of 44 suspected cases of yellow fever including 14 deaths (CFR: 31.8% ) were reported from this outbreak.
The field investigation carried out by the FMOH team revealed that the initial suspected cases were reported among the seasonal workers coming from the eastern states of Sudan who traveled to the state of West Kordofan for gum Arabic plantation during the month of October. Subsequently suspected cases were also reported amongst the locally residing population of both West and South Kordofan states.
The blood samples collected by the field investigation team of the FMOH from the suspected cases were positive for YF by IgM ELISA Assay at the National Public Health Laboratory of the FMOH in Khartoum. The blood samples were later re-confirmed at the Institute of Pasteur of Senegal, a WHO reference laboratory for yellow fever by IgM ELISA test followed by the seroneutralizing test (PRNT) for yellow fever. The entomological survey carried out by the field investigation team also found Aedes aegepty mosquitoes in the areas, the vector that can sustain transmission of YF.