What is yellow fever?

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Yellow fever is a flu-like ailment spread by mosquitoes that can become potentially dangerous. It is characterized by high fever and jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin. The condition could not be cured but can be prevented with a vaccine.

The Flavivirus is responsible for the condition and transmitted if an infected mosquito bites an individual. Take note that mosquitoes can become infected by the virus if they feed on an infected monkey or human.

What are the indications?

Yellow fever rapidly develops with symptoms that arise within 3-6 days after exposure. The primary indications of the infection are the same as the flu such as:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
    The primary indications of the infection are the same as the flu.
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint pain

Acute phase

This stage typically lasts for 3-4 days with symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Shivers
  • Flushing
  • Appetite loss
  • Back pain

Once the acute phase concludes, the symptoms will start to settle. Many can recover from yellow fever at this phase but some might develop a serious form of the condition.

Toxic phase

The symptoms that are present in the acute stage might settle for up to 24 hours. The symptoms will return along with new and even more serious ones such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diminished urination
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Issues with the heart rhythm
  • Delirium
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes

This stage is often deadly but only a small percentage of individuals with the condition progress to this phase.

Preventive measures

Always bear in mind that vaccination is the only way to prevent the condition. The vaccine is administered as a single shot. It includes a live, weakened version of the virus that allows the body to establish immunity.

Anyone starting at 9 months old up to 59 years of age and living or traveling to areas where the risk for yellow fever is high should receive the vaccination.

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