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Yellow Fever Virus, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Published: 2016-02-24 - Updated: 2021-06-22
Author: Thomas C. Weiss | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: Information regarding Yellow Fever, a virus transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and found in subtropical and tropical areas of Africa and South America. Vaccination for yellow fever is recommended for people aged less than nine months who are traveling to, or living in, areas at risk for yellow fever virus. Care should be taken to avoid some medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) and aspirin, which may increase a person's risk of bleeding.

Main Digest

Yellow fever, (yellow jack, yellow plague, bronze john), is an acute viral disease. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of an infected female mosquito. It infects only humans, other primates, and several species of mosquitoes. In those with severe disease, death occurs in about half of people without treatment. Yellow fever causes 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths every year - with nearly 90% of these occurring in Africa.

Related

Yellow fever virus is found in subtropical and tropical areas in Africa and South America. The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever is a very rare cause of illness in American travelers. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding. A safe and effective vaccine against yellow fever exists and some countries require vaccinations for travelers.

Yellow fever disease is diagnosed based upon a person's symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing and travel history, to include the potential of exposure to mosquitoes that are infected. There is no particular treatment for yellow fever - care is based on the symptoms the person is experiencing. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, getting vaccinated and wearing protective clothing.

Symptoms of Yellow Fever

Most people infected with yellow fever experience no illness, or only mild illness. In people who develop symptoms, the incubation period is usually three to six days. The initial symptoms include:

The majority of people improve following initial presentation. After a brief remission of hours to a day, around fifteen percent of people progress to develop a more severe form of the disease. The severe form is characterized by jaundice, a high fever, bleeding and eventually - shock and failure of multiple organs.

Treating Yellow Fever

No particular treatments have been found to benefit people with yellow fever. Whenever possible, people with yellow fever should be hospitalized for close observation and supportive care. Treatment is symptomatic. Fluids, rest and the use of pain relievers and medication to reduce fever might relieve symptoms of fever and aching.

Care should be taken to avoid some medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) and aspirin, which may increase a person's risk of bleeding. People with yellow fever should be protected from additional exposure to mosquitoes for up to five days after the onset of fever. By doing so, yellow fever virus in the person's bloodstream will be unavailable to uninfected mosquitoes, therefore breaking the cycle of transmission and decreasing the risk to the people around the infected person.

The Outcome of Yellow Fever

Preventing Yellow Fever

Clearly, people in areas where yellow fever exists should avoid contact with mosquitoes. Additional prevention suggestions are presented below:

Yellow Fever Vaccine Recommendations

Vaccination for yellow fever is recommended for people aged less than nine months who are traveling to, or living in, areas at risk for yellow fever virus; most notably in Africa and South America. Yellow fever vaccine might be required for entry into certain nations. Yellow fever vaccine is available - but only at designated vaccination centers.

For most people who are traveling, one dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection. A booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. Some travelers; however, might require a booster dose. Certain nations may also require a booster dose of the vaccine.

Reactions to yellow fever vaccine are usually mild and include muscle aches, headaches and low-grade fevers. There have been reports of rare yet serious events after yellow fever vaccination. The events include life-threatening allergic reactions, disease affecting a person's nervous system, as well as disease affecting certain internal organs. Testing may be performed to look for certain serious adverse events.

Author Credentials:

Thomas C. Weiss is a researcher and editor for Disabled World. Thomas attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

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Cite This Page (APA): Thomas C. Weiss. (2016, February 24). Yellow Fever Virus, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention. Disabled World. Retrieved October 20, 2021 from www.disabled-world.com/health/yellow-fever.php