Two hundred and fifty people in Angola have died as the worst case of yellow fever in decades spreads across the African country.
Officials said vaccine supplies are highly strained as fears rise of a spread of the disease further into Africa and Asia.
Vaccine experts have called for the use of only one tenth of the vaccination to conserve what is left but the World Health Organization is not sure this method will work. According to a WHO spokesman, more research is needed to measure immune response in children and duration of protection. The availability of suitable syringes for delivering a smaller dose is also a limiting factor.
Officials at WHO believe this outbreak constitutes a potential threat for the entire world warning that further spread of the virus elsewhere in Africa and Asia would increase the the lack of vaccine supplies and could interrupt routine immunisation.
Yellow fever is typically found in tropical or subtropical regions such as those found in South America and Africa and is transmitted by an infected mosquito bite.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, “Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding”.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, only preventions such as a vaccine.