Assessing the yellow fever outbreak in Angola

mission report technical guidance
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Assessing the yellow fever outbreak in Angola – European Medical Corps mission undertaken in the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, 10–20 May 2016. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016.

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A joint ECDC–European Commission mission team was sent to Angola to review the epidemiological situation of yellow fever in Angola, assess the implemented control measures, evaluate the risk of importation of yellow fever to the EU, assess the risk for EU citizens, and provide advice to the Angolan government and the European Commission. This report summarises the results of the mission.

The mission was initiated by the European Commission and ECDC in agreement with the Government of the Republic of Angola. The deployment of the expert team took place in the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and employed the newly established European Medical Corps.

Executive summary

n this context, from 10 to 20 May 2016 the European Commission and ECDC deployed a team of public health and humanitarian experts in Angola. The mission team reviewed the epidemiological situation, assessed the implemented control measures (to later advise the Angolan health authorities), evaluated the risk of importation of yellow fever to the EU, assessed the risk for EU citizens, and provided advice to the European Commission.

Although the number of new reported cases has decreased over recent weeks and a mass vaccination campaign reached about half of the targeted population, the outbreak is still ongoing and can’t yet be considered under control. Local transmission is being reported in many areas of the country. Large urban areas and provinces such as Cabinda represent a high risk for international spread.

Risk to EU/EEA

Travellers coming from affected areas may not have been vaccinated against yellow fever and may therefore arrive in the EU/EEA creating a risk for the potential local transmission of the disease in areas where the vector is present.In order to avoid exportation of yellow fever virus to other countries, individuals should only be allowed to enter and leave Angola if valid vaccination records are produced. At the time of writing this assessment, implementation of this strategy was currently absent or performed in a limited way. The risk of establishment of yellow fever transmission in the EU/EEA is low, even in areas where the primary vector Aedes aegypti ispresent.
 
The mission was organised in agreement with the Government of Angola and in close coordination with the World Health Organization. The mission was conducted in the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism and, for the first time, employed the newly established European Medical Corps.