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.
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
- body chills
- high fever
- muscle pain
- back pain
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
- 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