Director-General of WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a yellow fever outbreak in Ethiopia.

The number of suspected cases has increased from three reported on 3 March to 85 on 6 April.

Eight of the suspected cases have tested positive.

Flavivirus which cause yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes

Vaccination has since been reactivated but WHO is concerned about the outbreak in cases with no travel history.

“The risk at national level is assessed as high. The current outbreak in Gurage Zone, SNNP region shows rapid amplification of a yellow fever outbreak in a rural area. In the context of virtually no population immunity, the high number of suspect cases reported over a short time period is of high concern,” wrote the WHO.

Ethiopia has been running yellow fever vaccination programmes targeting people living in hotspots.