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Liberia Controlling Yellow Fever

September 8, 2000

GENEVA (AP) _ An outbreak of yellow fever in Liberia appears to be coming under control, and fears that the disease had spread to the nation’s capital have proved unfounded, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Some 102 suspected cases of yellow fever have been reported so far, up from 79 early last week, said Gregory Hartl, spokesman for the U.N. health agency.

The cases have been centered in Garwular, a town in Grand Cape Mount County on Liberia’s western border with Sierra Leone. Four people have died.

A WHO campaign to vaccinate 150,000 people in the region at risk from the outbreak started Tuesday and should end next week, Hartl said. ``So far it seems to be doing the trick,″ he said.

Health officials were concerned that the disease could put 1.5 million people at risk in the west African country’s capital, Monrovia. But ``the suspected cases which we thought were on the outskirts of Monrovia proved not to be yellow fever, and we have no confirmed cases outside Grand Cape Mount County,″ Hartl said.

Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted through mosquito bites. About 15 percent of those infected become seriously ill, and half of those die.

There is no cure, but vaccinations are effective for at least 10 years.

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