Yellow fever is also called yellow plague or yellow jack. It is an acute disease caused by yellow fever virus. It is spread by a female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Yellow fever affects humans, some mosquito species and primates only. The virus that causes yellow fever belongs to Flavivirus genus.
This disease is common in sub-Saharan Africa, some areas of the Caribbean and South America. Over the years, cases of yellow fever have not been reported in Europe, Asia and North America. However, yellow fever has been reported in the subtropical and tropical areas in Africa and South America.
Yellow fever can be spread by mosquito bites from one person to another or from moneys to humans or from humans to monkeys. Mosquitoes that cause yellow fever are found in urban areas and in the jungle where they breed from.
Diagnosis of yellow fever is based on blood test and symptoms. This is because diagnosing yellow fever on the basis of symptoms alone can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to those of other medical conditions such as typhoid fever and malaria. Among the symptoms of dengue fever include appetite loss, chills, fever, and muscle pain especially on the back, nausea and headache.
Typically, the symptoms improve in five days and in some people within a single day. Fever may disappear for a while and then come back. With time, the infected person experienced abdominal pain and then liver damage will start causing yellowing of the skin. Once the disease reaches this stage, the risks of kidney problems and bleeding are increased.
Since yellow fever is a viral disease, it does not have a specific treatment. However, it is possible to treat the symptoms. Painkillers can be used to treat muscle pain, headache and high temperature. A patient should also drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration. If a patient has severe symptoms, they can be admitted to a hospital where the condition is monitored with supportive case being provided.
Yellow fever can be prevented through a vaccination. In some countries a certificate is required to proof that one has been vaccinated against yellow fever before they are allowed entry. While travelling to countries where the disease has been reported in the past, it is advisable to have the vaccine about 10 days before traveling. This will enable the body to develop immunity against the disease infection.
Other preventative measures for yellow fever include avoiding places that have mosquitoes, air-conditioning the living environments, using mosquito repellants and vaccinating medical laboratory workers.