The Ghana Health Service has announced that it is stepping up efforts to combat yellow fever which has resurfaced in some parts of the country.

Although the cases are relatively few, the service has said it is going to increase vaccinations against the disease to prevent a flare up.

Yellow fever cases have been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a serious viral infection common in tropical areas of the world including Africa, Central and South America. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says 47 countries are “either endemic for, or have regions that are endemic for, yellow fever.” 34 of these are in Africa.

The virus is transmitted between people from the bite of infested mosquitoes; some of which breed near homes.

Symptoms include fever, appetite loss, nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle pain and jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).

Half of those who contract the disease die within seven to ten days according to the WHO. In 2015, no cases were recorded in West Africa.

Vaccination is the best way to protect against the virus and one dose of the vaccine provides life-long protection.

Mosquito control measures such as destroying breeding grounds and using repellent also help to reduce the risk of catching the virus.