Yellow Fever: Africa Region Situation Report 2023-2024


DLHA Staff Writer

Yellow feer


TUESDAY, March 27 2024: From the beginning of 2023, and as of 25 February 2024, a total of 13 countries in the WHO African Region have documented probable and confirmed cases of yellow fever (YF).

The countries include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda (see fig. 1)

Yellow fever outbreak profile by countries in Africa

Figure 1. Distribution of reported confirmed yellow fever cases in eight countries in the WHO African Region between 1 October 2023 (EW40/2023) and 21 February 2024 (EW8/2024). Image credit: WHO

Click on image to enlarge.


Preliminary data for 2023 indicate a case fatality rate (CFR) of 11% and a sex ratio of 1.7 (M: F). The median age of cases is 25 years, with two-thirds (69%) of cases aged over 15 years. Challenges in surveillance capacity exist in many of the affected countries. These contribute to underreporting and increased mortality rates , and are the result of data fragmentation, limited integration with routine surveillance and clinical systems, and a lack of standardized case definitions.

During the last quarter of 2023 and as of 25 February 2024, a total of eight countries (Cameroon, Chad, Congo, DRC, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, and South Sudan), have reported active YF transmission with confirmed YF cases. 

A detailed country by country outlook for yellow fever is available here


Epidemiology of Yellow Fever


Yellow fever is an epidemic-prone, vaccine-preventable disease caused by an arbovirus transmitted to humans primarily through the bites of an infected Aedes spp. and Haemagogus spp. mosquitoes. T

The incubation period ranges from 3 to 6 days.



Many people do not experience symptoms, but when they occur, the most common and mild ones are:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain with prominent back pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite, and
  • Nausea or vomiting.

In most cases, symptoms disappear after 3 to 4 days.


A small percentage of cases progress to a toxic phase with systemic infection affecting the liver and kidney sand severe symptoms.

The severe symptoms may include:

  • High-grade fever
  • Abdominal pain with vomiting
  • Yellow discoloration the eyes, skin and other mucous membranes (i.e. jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes, or stomach. 

Death can occur within 7 to 10 days in about half of cases with severe symptoms.


Yellow fever is prevented by an effective vaccine, which is safe and affordable. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to grant sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease. A booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 10 days for 80-100% of people vaccinated, and within 30 days for more than 99% of people vaccinated.


Source: World health Organization (WHO). Disease Outbreak News. Yellow Fever - Afro Region, 2024. March 20. Cited 2024 March 27. Retrieved from:



Published: March 27, 2024

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