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Prevention of Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected female mosquitoes in tropical locations, mainly South Africa and South America. There are two types of yellow fever: jungle yellow fever, and the more common urban yellow fever.

Prevention of Yellow Fever includes immunizationJungle Yellow Fever usually occurs when a person is bitten by a mosquito that has previously bitten an infected monkey. The likelihood of becoming infected by the jungle string is rare; it most often happens to individuals who spend time in the jungles or rain forests of specific tropical areas.

Urban Yellow Fever usually occurs when a person suffers a bite from a mosquito that has previously bitten an already infected human.

Symptoms associated with yellow fever vary from one person to another, and are usually experienced within 3 to 14 days after being infected.

Some mild symptoms include

  • headache
  • body chills
  • high fever
  • muscle pain
  • back pain
  • vomiting

Liver Failure
Certain infected individuals experience a brief recovery period, which is followed by shock, kidney and/or liver failure, and hemorrhage. Liver failure is the most common effect, causing severe jaundice, hence the name “yellow fever”.

The prevention of yellow fever is possible through immunization. The following list offers recommendations to travellers to tropical countries with yellow fever:

  • Get the vaccination against yellow fever prior to your departure. Speak to your doctor for details on the illness.
  • Wear mosquito netting to cover unprotected areas of your body, and use netting over your bed when you are sleeping.
  • Wear generous amounts of insect repellent on exposed skin and hair, and treat all clothing with the insecticide permethrin. The most effective insect repellent contains at least 25 to 35% DEET.

Yellow Fever Blood Test
If you think that you or someone you know may have become infected with yellow fever, contact a doctor immediately. A blood test can confirm infection. There is no known cure for yellow fever, but bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids, much like treatment of the flu, is recommended. Yellow fever entails a long recovery period. Though rare, in some cases the virus is fatal.

Immunization offers the best protection in the prevention of yellow fever - it can save your life.


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