The Yellow Fever outbreak in South Sudan was declared on 29 November 2018 in Sakure payam, Nzara County, Gbudue state.

Since the reporting of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health and partners have scaled up preparedness and response activities to mitigate and control possible spread. These activities entailed conducting follow up epidemiological; entomological; and laboratory investigations in addition to providing supportive clinical care to symptomatic cases by national rapid response team. 

As of 19 December 2018; only one confirmed yellow fever case and two presumptively yellow fever positive cases have been reported from Sakure payam, Nzara county, Gbudue state. Sakure payam is located at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a rural setting with households and farms located close to forested areas (with the risks of yellow fever transmission and cross-border spread). The population of Sakure payam is estimated to be 16,759 people with most engaged in farming and cross-border trade with DRC.

According to Dr Wamala Joseph, WHO Epidemiology, the assessment of the types of mosquito in Sakure, Nzara, and Yambio towns, revealed no evidence of yellow fever carrying mosquitoes (the Aedes species). He noted that the number of the mosquitoes found in the three places was below the required levels to cause yellow fever outbreaks. This he said is attributed to the prevailing dry season and hence the greatly reduced breeding and mosquito populations at this time of the year.

The population in South Sudan is regarded as vulnerable to yellow fever outbreaks since the vaccine is not integrated into the national routine vaccination schedule. In addition, the last major yellow fever vaccine reactive campaign was implemented in 2003 following the Imatong mountains yellow fever outbreak in Torit and Ikotos counties.

For more information please visit https://www.afro.who.int