Yellow fever outbreaks in Uganda and Kenya

05 April 2022

Article: 56/1304

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an outbreak of yellow fever in Uganda, with eight cases having been noted from the Masaka and Wakiso districts as of 16 March 2022. Masaka District is on the north-western shore of Lake Victoria, while Wakiso District is on the western boundary of Kampala, the capital city. Yellow fever occurs in Uganda, although large outbreaks are uncommon.

The WHO has also reported a growing outbreak of yellow fever in Kenya, with 56 cases, including six deaths, being noted in Isiolo County, which is located to the north of Nairobi. These figures have been reported from 12 January to 15 March 2022, and a public health alert has been raised in all 47 counties of Kenya, particularly in the high-risk counties of Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Meru, Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana. While yellow fever is endemic in Kenya, large outbreaks are uncommon.

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease which is transmitted by the day biting Aedes mosquito, found in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America. All travellers should be advised to practice mosquito bite avoidance at all times.

Advice for travellers

A traveller's risk of yellow fever is determined by their individual risk assessment, with factors influencing their risk including:

  • the country, or countries, being visited
  • length of stay
  • rate of transmission at destination
  • immunisation status
  • planned activities

Unvaccinated travellers who visit yellow fever endemic areas are at risk of becoming infected. Unless contraindicated, yellow fever vaccine should be considered for travellers at risk.

Further information for health professionals can be found on the TRAVAX country pages for Uganda and Kenya, and the TRAVAX yellow fever webpage, while the general public can access further information on the fitfortravel country pages for Uganda and Kenya, and the fitfortravel yellow fever webpage.

Sources: TRAVAX, 30 March 2022 and TRAVAX, 29 March 2022