Urban yellow fever is an epidemic viral disease of humans transmitted from infected to susceptible persons by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which breed in domestic and peri domestic containers (e.g., water jars, barrels, drums, tires, or tin cans) and thus in close association with humans. In areas where Ae. aegypti has been eliminated or suppressed, urban yellow fever has disappeared. Urban yellow fever can be prevented by vaccinating human populations at risk for infection or by suppressing populations of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes so that they no longer perpetuate infection. India is highly vulnerable to yellow fever in view of a highly susceptible population and the abundance of mosquito vector – Aedes aegypti. Despite the presence of arbo-viral diseases like Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis, West Nile Fever, Kyasanur Forest Disease and Chikungunya, experts at the National Institute of Virology and Indian Council of Medical Research find it intriguing that there has not been a single case for decades now in the country. This is important as there is currently the fear of a global epidemic with the vaccine running low on supplies. The Guardian reported on Tuesday: ‘A last-ditch effort to prevent yellow fever spreading through Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and potentially developing into a global epidemic is to be launched using vaccines containing a fifth of the normal dose because the global stockpile is so low’.
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