Introduction of Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is a serious viral disease that is usually transmitted by a type of mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It’s characterized by a high fever and jaundice. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is why this disease is called yellow fever. This disease is most prevalent in certain parts of Africa and South America. It isn’t curable, but you can prevent it with the yellow fever vaccine.
Causes of Yellow Fever
The Flavivirus causes yellow fever. The disease is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes, typically the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The mosquito becomes infected by biting an animal (or human) that is already infected with the flavivirus. Infected mosquitoes can then pass it on to other animals or humans that they bite. Once infected, a mosquito is a source of infection throughout its life.
The falvivirus is thought to be widespread among monkeys that live in the jungle canopy (the tree tops) of some parts of Africa and the Americas.
Occasionally, an infected mosquito will pass the flavivirus on to a person in the jungle, such as a forestry worker, who may then become a source of infection when they return to their community.
Risk for Yellow Fever
People who haven’t been vaccinated for yellow fever and who live in areas populated by infected mosquitoes are at risk. Most cases occur in 32 countries in Africa, including Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and in 13 countries in Latin America, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Symptoms of Yellow Fever
During the first three to six days after you've contracted yellow fever , you won't experience any signs or symptoms. After this, the infection enters an acute phase and then, in some cases, a toxic phase that can be life-threatening.
Typical symptoms of yellow fever include:
High temperature (fever),
Nausea and vomiting,
Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
Heart rhythm problems
Bleeding from the nose, mouth, and eyes
Diagnosis of yellow fever
Diagnosis of yellow fever is usually based on a person's symptoms and by carrying out a blood test.
It can sometimes be difficult to make a confident diagnosis of yellow fever based on the symptoms alone, because the symptoms are often similar to a number of other conditions including:
Viral hepatitis, and
Leptospirosis (an infectious disease passed to humans from certain animals).
If you have yellow fever, a blood test will be able to highlight the presence of antibodies that are produced by the body to fight the virus.
The blood test may also show a reduction in the number of infection-fighting white blood cells. This condition is known as leukopenia.
Treatment Of Yellow Fever
There’s no cure for yellow fever. Treatment involves managing symptoms and assisting your immune system in fighting off the infection.
For example, a high temperature (fever) can be treated using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. NSAIDs can also be used to treat symptoms such as headaches, back pain and muscle pain.
Children under 16 should not take aspirin. If you have (or have had in the past) gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach ulcers or kidney disease, or if you have cardiovascular (heart) problems, you should not take ibuprofen.