Die Rückkehr des Gelbfiebers

SEATTLE – Noch bevor uns der Schrecken des jüngsten Ebola-Ausbruchs in Westafrika ganz verlassen hat, sucht uns nun das nächste große weltweite Gesundheitsrisiko heim – das Zika-Virus, mit dem sich momentan Forscher und Ärzte in Südamerika, Zentralamerika und der Karibik beschäftigen. Aber auch noch eine andere Viruserkrankung verursacht immer mehr Todesfälle: Gelbfieber.

Das südwestafrikanische Land Angola leidet unter einer schweren Gelbfieberepidemie – der ersten dort innerhalb von dreißig Jahren. Seit das Virus im letzten Dezember erstmals in Luanda, Angolas Hauptstadt und größtem Ballungszentrum, aufgetaucht ist, hat es 293 Menschen getötet und schätzungsweise 2.267 befallen. Bis sind jetzt sechs der achtzehn Provinzen des Landes betroffen. Durch Reisende gab es auch Ansteckungen in China, der Demokratischen Republik Kongo und Kenia. Auch Namibia und Sambia sind alarmiert.

Das Gelbfiebervirus wird durch Aedes aegypti verbreitet – denselben Moskito, der auch das Zika-Virus trägt. Unter den Symptomen sind Fieber, Muskelschmerzen, Kopfschmerzen, Übelkeit, Erbrechen und Erschöpfung. Mindestens die Hälfte der unbehandelten Patienten mit schwerem Gelbfieber sterben innerhalb von 10-14 Tagen.

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