Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral condition that is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes usually in parts of Africa and South America.

What are the indications of yellow fever?

The signs and symptoms of yellow fever include the following:

  • Abrupt onset of fever
  • Chills
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
    Yellow fever

    A small percentage of cases progress to bleeding, abdominal pain with vomiting, jaundice and kidney issues.

  • Vomiting

These symptoms occur 3-6 days after the virus enters the body. After 3-4 days, the condition of the individual eventually improves and the symptoms settle. On the other hand, a small percentage of cases progress to bleeding, abdominal pain with vomiting, jaundice and kidney issues. Almost half of these individuals can recover while the other half are considered as fatalities within 10-14 days of developing the symptoms.

How does yellow fever spread?

Aedes aegypti is a type of mosquito which is one of the main vectors that transmits the virus. It usually requires 3-6 days for the condition to start once the individual is bitten by an infected mosquito.

An infected individual can transmit the infection if bitten by mosquitoes for up to 5 days after the start of the symptoms. Remember that the infection is not spread directly from one individual to another or from an animal to a human.

Prevention

  • Vaccination for yellow fever must be given. A single vaccination can provide life-long protection. This was previously a booster shot that is recommended every 10 years.
  • Cover the body with loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Apply a mosquito repellant on areas with exposed skin.
  • Potential breeding sites of mosquitoes around the house must be eliminated.
  • Install screens on the windows and doors.
  • When sleeping outdoors especially when camping, utilize a bed net that has been treated with permethrin.
  • If possible, avoid areas where there are reported cases of yellow fever outbreaks.

Management

Yellow fever is hard to pinpoint in its initial stages since there are other infections that have comparable symptoms. A diagnosis is usually confirmed with a blood test.

Take note that there is no specific treatment for yellow fever. The individual is usually treated for dehydration and fever. As for severe cases, intensive care might be required.

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