Le retour de la fièvre jaune

SEATTLE – Avant même que nous puissions oublier les horreurs de la dernière épidémie Ebola en Afrique de l’Ouest, le virus de Zika a émergé comme risque majeur pour la santé mondiale et occupe des chercheurs et médecins en Amérique du Sud, en Amérique centrale et dans les Caraïbes. Or, c’est un autre virus, la fièvre jaune, dont le taux de mortalité grimpe encore plus rapidement.

Dans la région du sud-ouest de l’Afrique, l’Angola subit une grave épidémie de fièvre jaune — sa première en 30 ans. Depuis l’émergence en décembre du virus à Louanda, la capitale de l’Angola et la ville comptant le plus grand nombre d’habitants, il a causé la mort de 293 personnes et probablement infecté 2 267 autres personnes. Le virus s’est propagé dans six des 18 provinces du pays. Des voyageurs qui ont contracté le virus l’ont introduit en Chine, en République démocratique du Congo et au Kenya. La Namibie et la Zambie sont sur un pied d’alerte.

Le virus de la fièvre jaune est transmis par Aedes aegypti — la même espèce de moustique qui propage le virus du Zika. Les symptômes comprennent la fièvre, des douleurs musculaires, des migraines, des nausées, des vomissements et de la fatigue. Au moins la moitié des patients gravement atteints de la fièvre jaune qui n’ont pas reçu de traitement meurent dans les 10 à 14 jours.

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