What is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus that is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. It gets its name from the yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) that occurs when the virus attacks the liver.
How is it transmitted?
Yellow fever is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes, mainly the Aedes species in Africa and the Haemagogus species in South Africa. Mosquitoes that spread yellow fever typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can take 3 to 6 days to appear.
Initial symptoms usually include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, back pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, weakness and dehydration. Most patients recover after this stage.
In severe cases, the disease can lead to shock, internal bleeding, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) and organ failure. This occurs in about 15% of patients, half of whom will die within 10-14 days.
Where is Yellow Fever a concern?
Yellow fever is endemic (always present) in many tropical areas of Africa and South America.
Source: © All Rights Reserved. Travel Health: Yellow Fever. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014. Reproduced with permission from the Minister of Health, 2014.
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