When it rains it pours

BHOPAL : Even as the state is battling dengue, malaria and chikungunya; another disease has started knocking at its door. The growing incidence of Yellow Fever, which has come into India from the African and American countries, has alarmed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which has made vaccination against the disease compulsory for travellers to and from India.

In Madhya Pradesh, only three cases of Yellow fever have been reported to date and all the patients are getting themselves treated in hospitals outside the state. Since yellow fever a vector-borne disease, the vaccination works only once and does not provide lifetime immunity against the disease.

Dr Sanjeev Kumar, assistant professor and coordinator, yellow fever vaccination centre at AIIMS Bhopal informed that the vaccine is vital for those travelling to the African and American countries. “Not many are coming to this centre for two reasons. First, people are not aware of the disease and the availability of vaccine and second, because most of the travellers abroad are from metro cities”. He said that the tourists flying into India from these countries are a potential threat.

The vaccination center at AIIMS Bhopal is the only vaccination center for yellow fever in state.  “We have vaccinated hardly 100 persons in two years. The notice of Government of India to get compulsory vaccination for the disease is an effective step to stop the fever from spreading in India”, he said. The yellow fever vaccine is supplied only by the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, which imports it.

Why is Yellow Fever dangerous?

This vector-borne disease is dangerous because in nearly 25 per cent of cases the illness reappears in a severe form and 50 percent of them succumb within 7-10 days after onset of the hepatorenal disease, which is renal and liver failure. The patient is also susceptible to coma, strokes, hypothermia, loss of cerebrospinal fluid, WBC and fatal haemorrhagic fever.

Symptoms: Within 3-6 days of incubation, fever, headache, lower back pain, pain in muscles, nausea, multifunctional bleeding disorder, platelet dysfunction and delayed clotting.