Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of particular species of mosquito called the yellow fever mosquito.
Yellow fever mosquitoes are normally found in tropical and subtropical areas of America and Africa, but not in Asia. The hosts of this virus are primates and a few types of mosquitoes. Africa is said to be the place of origin of the disease. In the 16th century, the yellow fever was brought into south America through the slave trade. Yellow fever used to be among most brutal infectious diseases.
In most cases yellow fever causes fever, nausea and pain. They tend to disappears after a few days. Sometimes, a toxic phase may follow, in which liver damage occurs and might lead to death. This is caused by the increased risk of bleeding. Yellow fever comes from a group of hemorrhagic fevers.
Causes of Yellow Fever
A virus carried by mosquitoes is the known cause of yellow fever. You will be infected with the disease if you are bitten by a virus infected mosquito. Everyone can catch a yellow fever, but the elderly have higher tendencies for severe infection. Symptoms usually show up 3 to 6 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito
Yellow Fever Symptoms
Yellow fever has three stages:
Stage 1: Headache, muscle and joint aches, fever, and vomiting. These symptoms tend to go away after 3-4 days.
Stage 2: The symptoms will go away during this stage and most people will fully recover during this time. In some cases, things may get worse within 24 hours.
Stage 3: Organ problems start to occur. Problems may consist of heart, liver, and kidney failure, coma, and delirium.
Yellow Fever Exams and Tests
If ever you suspect that you have yellow fever. Do not hesitate to get help from the nearest health care provider. They will examine the person closely. Results from the test are able to show liver and kidney failure and even shock.
Tell your doctor if you have been to areas with the disease as this piece information is important for doctors. Blood tests carried out can confirm the diagnosis.
Yellow Fever Treatment
Right now, there is no specific treatment for yellow fever. The medical team will focus mainly on the supportive care aspect of the hospital. For an instance, providing fluids, oxygen, making sure the patient’s blood pressure is adequate, kidney dialysis, and treating any secondary infections. In some cases, some patients may have to be given plasma transfusion to help with blood clotting.
In the case of a patient being infected, they are to be kept away from mosquitoes as they may help spread the disease to other people.
Prevention of Yellow Fever
The only way to fully prevent yellow fever is to go through a vaccination. If you will be traveling to an area where yellow thrives, pay your doctor a visit and ask about having the vaccine at least 2 weeks before leaving for your destination. A single shot is capable of providing 10 years of protection from yellow fever.