Yellow fever is carried by the same mosquito that spread Zika and dengue fever, but it is a much more serious disease.  67 cases are reported confirmed in Kinshasa but over 1,000 people are being monitored.  With 12 million people and ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos, Kinshasa is at risk with only a small portion of the population vaccinated. Angola is also at risk and to a lesser extent in Masaka district south and west of Kampala, Uganda. There is no known cure once yellow fever is contracted although the vaccine is considered effective.

Health officials are concerned that the entire world’s supply of vaccination, said to be down to 6 million doses because of extensive distribution already, wouldn’t be enough in a true epidemic.  Vaccines are made from chicken eggs and take a year to develop.  World Health Organisation (WHO) advisers have recommended using a fifth of the standard dose of vaccine in the event of a global shortage – enough to immunize temporarily but not to give lifelong immunity that occurs with a full dose.

Severe illness results in jaundice (hence it’s name) and flu like symptoms.  There is a 20% mortality rate once at the toxic stage, but historically a severe epidemic can have as high as a 50% mortality rate.  Currently, 30,000 annually die from yellow fever, an entirely preventable disease.