Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



During the first quarter of 1958 an infectious disease characterized by a severe hepatitis caused the deaths of 9 of 15 people hospitalized in the area of Gemena (former Belgian Congo). Histopathologic examination of liver specimens from five of these showed lesions of yellow fever hepatitis. Epidemiological studies disclosed that 11 other people died of a similar disease during the same period. In March and April, a second wave of this disease caused the death of 9 of 45 hospitalized people in the same area, and five of these were confirmed as having yellow fever hepatitis.

These observations, as well as the higher morbidity rate in young male adults working in forest areas, led to the assumption that the disease had the characteristics of Jungle Yellow Fever. Control measures were therefore based on this hypothesis. Stopping of work in the infective areas and intensive insect control operation by helicopter concurrent with mass immunisation of the population apparently successfully checked the infectious outbreaks.


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