The death toll from a yellow fever pandemic in Angola has risen to 225, the southern African country’s heath minster says, warning of a possible surge in casualties.
Luis Sambo said on Tuesday that some 1,600 cases have been recorded so far.
He said that the disease, which broke out late last year, has spread to 16 of the country’s 18 provinces.
“We need to increase the response capacity… in both technological resources [such] as medicines and vaccines, as well as in personnel,” he said.
Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that almost 160 people had died of yellow fever in Angola. The United Nations body also warned that a breakdown in sanitation services and garbage collection has caused a surge in malaria, cholera and chronic diarrhoea in the country.
Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes different from those responsible for the transmission of malaria. The former disease claims the lives of around half of those who develop symptoms and remain untreated.
Latest estimates released by the WHO show that about 200,000 individuals become infected with yellow fever each year, 30,000 of whom are reported to die.