Yellow fever fact sheet

Yellow fever is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. It most commonly occurs in South America and Africa. Travelers are susceptible to this disease if they do not protect themselves from getting this disease in advance.

Yellow fever can be prevented through vaccination and making sure you are not getting bitten by mosquitoes. Travellers should get vaccinated if they are planning a trip to and area where yellow fever is known to exist. This vaccine is require for entry in those countires where that disease is present. The best way to avoid this disease is to make sure you are doing everything to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

Two types of yellow fever exists. Jungle yellow fever occurs when mosquitoes bite and infect monkeys. Then other mosquites come and feed on the infected monkeys. A person bit by those mosquitoes will aquire jungle yellow fever. These cases are rare and occur only in people who works mostly in the rainforest.

Urban yellow fever is the most common. Mosquitoes carry the disease after biting infected people. When a new person is bitten the disease is passed on. Even though many yellow fever infections are mild and people recover easily from them, complications may arise in some cases. Symptoms of a sever yellow fever infection include: high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and vomiting. After a brief recovery period these symptoms can extend to shock, bleeding, kidney and liver failure. If a yellow fever infection becomes severe it can be deadly if it develops into severe hepatitis or hemorrhagic fever.

The time from the mosquito bite to the first symptoms is usually 3 to days.

The mortality rate for sever cases of yellow fever can range from 15 % all the way up to 50 %.

As there is no treatment for yellow fever, a person must rest, drink a lot of fluids and take medicine that relieves flu and aching symptoms. Protection against further mosquito bites is also necessary.

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