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What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a viral disease often transmitted by insect vectors. The most notable insect vector of yellow fever is infected female mosquitoes and male mosquitos known as Aedes egypti.

Yellow fever virus is an RNA virus belonging to the Flaviviridae family of viruses.

Yellow fever symptoms
Yellow fever symptoms

According to statistics, yellow fever virus causes about 2000,000 infections and 30,000 deaths yearly, with about 90% of the total occurrence in Africa (including Sierra Leone and Uganda) and other developing countries- South American countries and Africa.

The following Latin American countries have been indicated to have high incidences of yellow fever:

  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru

Symptoms of yellow fever

Yellow fever symptoms includes fever, headache, chills and back pain, joint aches, increased body temperature among others. There are 3 stages of development of yellow fever with attendant symptoms.

Stage 1 lasts for about 24 hours, however, if it is not treated it may enter the second stage which is the acute stage. The second stage often lasts for about 3-4 days with mild symptoms .

The following symptoms of yellow fever are noticeable in the second stage:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Flushing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever, increase in body temperature accompanied with shivering.

This may progress to the third chronic stage with complicated symptoms.

Yellow fever symptoms for third stage

  1. Vomit with blood.
  2. Jaundice may result from damages to liver cells and the gall bladder, and blockage of bile duct.
  3. Gastrointestinal tract troubles.
  4. Bleeding in the mouth and the eyes.
  5. Abdominal pain.
  6. Decreased urination.
  7. Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmias).
  8. Mental confusion (delirium) with occasional loss of memory.
  9. Kidney failure may result from yellow fever.

Only about 15% of yellow fever cases enter this third toxic phase. The initial symptoms of yellow fever look very close to influenza virus but second and third stage presents symptoms which pin points the exact cause.

In order to reduce the risk of having yellow fever, avoid accumulating garbage, empty containers with still waters, and avoid constant travels to places reported to be infested with Aedes mosquitoes.

Yellow fever symptoms can be managed promptly if it is report earlier before complications arise. Yellow fever may be diagnosed accurately through blood tests.

Doctors often replace lost fluids through intravenous drips and oxygen supplementation.

Dialysis may have to be performed on patients diagnosed to have yellow fever due to the possibility of having yellow fever. Those how already have compromised immune system may die from this disease if it enters the chronic stage, this happens in older people above age of 60 years.

Those who travel to other countries are often requested to present yellow fever vaccination certificates as the best time to curb incidences of yellow fever is at the infant stage.

It is good to prevent your babies from mosquito bites by using insect repellents and mosquito nets. So also, you should endeavor to immunize your babies immediately after birth for stronger immunity against infections.

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