Keiji Fukuda (R), Margaret Chan - WHO.jpg

Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo should speed up yellow fever mass vaccinations and should get better at spotting new cases to prevent the outbreak from spiralling out of control, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.

The Geneva-based UN agency also said that all travellers to and from these two countries should get immunized.

The UN health organization decided that the outbreak in both countries does not constitute a global health emergency at this point, as more and more people going in and out of Angola's capital Luanda are being vaccinated, WHO's emergencies chief Bruce Aylward said.

Luanda has been at the centre of the outbreak that started late last year, resulting in 2,300 suspected infections and some 300 deaths so far in Angola.

"This can be a devastating disease with a high mortality rate and a rapid spread in urban areas," Aylward told reporters in Geneva.

The current outbreak "is serious and of great concern and requires intensified control measures," WHO said in a statement.

Mosquitoes transmit the virus between humans, but it can be exported abroad by travellers infected with the flu-like disease.

In this way, yellow fever has spread from Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there were less than 50 cases as of last week.

A few cases have also been exported to Kenya and China.

WHO is working with pharmaceutical companies to boost the emergency stockpile of yellow fever vaccines, from currently 5 million doses to up to 18 million within a few months.

Related stories

WHO: Yellow fever epidemic ends in Congo

WHO: Zika vaccine trials at least 18 months away

Latest news

US strongly condemns neo-Nazi march in Zagreb

The US Embassy in Zagreb on Monday strongly condemned neo-Nazi and pro-Ustasha views expressed during a demonstration by several dozen people, organised by the non-parliamentary far-right Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Sunday.

Guterres: Rights of minorities, migrants are under attack

The human rights of minorities and migrants are being attacked by populists and by governments that shirk their responsibilities to protect refugees, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Carnival float crashes in Rio, injures 20

A large float crashed into revellers at Rio de Janeiro's Carnival celebrations, injuring 20 people, eight of them so seriously that they had to be taken to hospital, the news portal O Globo reported on Monday.

Al-Qaeda's deputy leader killed in Syria, monitor group says

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, who goes by the name of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, has been killed in a drone strike in northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said Monday.

Taiwan rights activists urge 'truth and justive' over 1947 massacre

Over 300 members of human rights and civil organizations urged the Taiwan government on Monday to finally deliver "truth and justice" for the victims of the February 28 massacre of 1947 and the following four decades of martial rule. 

Video purportedly shows beheading of German hostage in Philippines

A video shot by Islamist militants purportedly shows the beheading of a German hostage held for three months in the southern Philippines.

Seven killed in attack on prison bus in Sri Lanka

Seven people were killed Monday when unidentified gunmen disguised as police officers opened fire on a convoy transporting prisoners to a court south of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said.

South Korea's acting president refuses to extend Park investigation

Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo Ahn refused to extend a special prosecutor's investigation into a scandal involving impeached President Park Geun Hye on Monday.

PricewaterhouseCoopers 'investigating' Oscar envelope mixup

Representatives at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for carrying the winning ballots to the Academy Awards, "deeply regret" the confusion that ensued when Warren Beatty read out "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight" for Best Picture.

Croatia's development bank giving favourable loans for tourism

The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) is continuing the implementation of programmes offering favourable loans to the tourism sector in 2017, with the continued reduction of interest rate by one percentage point and lower fees for loan applications, HBOR has stated.

New Zealand PM: We need migrants as 'locals can't pass drug tests'

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said Monday his country has to rely on immigrant workers because many locals can't pass workplace drug tests.

Father of dead Navy SEAL says he didn't want to meet with Trump

The father of a Navy SEAL killed in late January during a raid in Yemen chose not to meet US President Donald Trump when the soldier's casket arrived back in the United States, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.