Yellow Fever: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru Jul 14, 2019
What is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is an acute viral infectious disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can be a life-threatening disease causing haemorrhagic fever and hepatitis. The WHO estimates there are 200,000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. It is not contagious, although the infection can be transmitted directly into the blood through contaminated needles.
A virus causes it, and the virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that belongs to the Flavivirus genus. After the transmission it widespread into organs via the bloodstream. It can affect the bone marrow, spleen lymph nodes, kidneys, and liver.
It is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and South America. Its incubation period is generally between three to six days.
What are the Symptoms of Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever symptoms occur three to six days after exposure, and the symptoms of the infection are similar to those of the influenza virus. Symptoms include:
• Generalized muscle aches
• Back pain
• A headache
• Lack of appetite
• Abdominal pain
• Bleeding from the gums, nose, eyes
• Blood in stool and vomit
• Kidney failure
Who is at risk for Yellow Fever?
People who are not vaccinated for yellow fever and who live in areas populated by infected mosquitoes are at risk. Most cases of yellow fever, occur in 32 countries in Africa, including Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and 13 countries in Latin America, including:
How is Yellow Fever Diagnosed?
In yellow fever symptoms during initial phase are non-specific and similar to a flu-like illness, diagnosis during this stage can be difficult. There is no specific test for the diagnosis. A blood test is done to analyze the presence of the virus PCR test is done for confirmation.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Supportive measures implemented depend on the severity of the disease and may include,
• Oxygen administration
• Intravenous fluid administration for dehydration
• Medications to increase blood pressure in cases of circulatory collapse
• Transfusion of blood in case of severe bleeding
• Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections
• Dialysis for kidney failure
• Endotracheal intubation
How is Yellow Fever Prevented?
Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing yellow fever. It is a live virus vaccine that provides long-lasting immunity after a single dose. The CDC suggests that anyone who is nine months to 59 years old travelling or living in an area where the risk of yellow fever is present should be vaccinated.
People who shouldn’t get the vaccine include:
- People who allergies to eggs, chicken proteins, or gelatin
- Infants younger than six months old
- People who have HIV, AIDS, or other conditions that comprise the immune system
The vaccine for yellow fever is very safe, and a single dose provides protection for at least ten years. The Side effects may include:
- A mild headache
- Muscle pain
- A low-grade fever
Other methods of prevention include:
- Insect repellent
- Wear full clothes
- Stay inside during evening time