Yellow fever: What are the signs?

Yellow fever is a form of viral infection spread by mosquitoes. Generally, the condition is prevalent in various areas in South America and Africa.

In mild cases, yellow fever can cause headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. There are some cases, though, the condition can become serious enough to cause liver, heart and kidney issues along with bleeding. In a severe form, it can be fatal.

Furthermore, remember that there is no specific treatment for yellow fever. For those who are travelling to areas with reported cases of the disease, getting a vaccine can provide protection.

What are the signs of yellow fever?

Generally, during the initial 3-6 days after acquiring yellow fever, there are no symptoms. After this phase, the infection progresses to an acute stage and might progress to a toxic phase in some cases that might be dangerous.


Yellow fever

Muscle pain especially in the knees and back.

During this phase, the usual symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Light sensitivity
  • Muscle pain especially in the knees and back
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Appetite loss
  • Reddened eyes, tongue or face

These symptoms typically improve and settle within several days.


Even though the symptoms might subside after 1-2 days after the acute phase, some might progress to the toxic phase.

During the toxic phase, the acute symptoms recur, and severe ones also arise such as:

  • Abdominal pain with vomiting
  • Yellowish tinge to the skin and white part of the eyes
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes
  • Reducing urinary frequency
  • Slow heart rate
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Brain dysfunction including seizures, delirium and coma

Remember that the toxic phase might be deadly.



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