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What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is a deadly flu - disease. This is one of the great epidemic diseases of the world. Mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti act as a carrier for spreading yellow fever, they also transmit other diseases like dengue and Zika viruses. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread flavivirus, which infects human beings, all species of monkeys, and other small mammals. 

Yellow fever disease causes the same problem as high fever and jaundice. Jaundice usually is yellowing the skin and eyes. That’s why this disease is termed yellow fever. Still, the people from Africa and South America suffer a lot due to Yellow fever. It still remains, as the forest monkeys act as a reservoir of Yellow fever. 


Origin of Yellow Fever

In the 16th century, the Spanish conquered South America. The first outbreak of yellow fever disease was found in South Africa. Later, Western Africa emerged as the home of yellow fever. It remains untreated for the next 300 years and it remains one of the great plagues for the entire world. Also, the yellow fevers are names Yellow Jack and ‘the saffron scourge’. Later the outbreaks spread through various parts of tropical and subtropical regions includes, including New York, Spain, France, England Italy, etc. 

In the late 19th century, many people came up with several research theories about the cause and transmission of yellow fever. But the Scottish medical historian Charles Creighton found that yellow fever disease is initially originated from African slaves. He summarized yellow fever as ‘a virulent filth disease. Ancient people treated this infection with ipecacuanha to induce vomiting, castor oil to loosen the motion, and enemas of cold water with turpentine to release gas.  

In 1881 Cuban epidemiologist Carlos Juan Finlay found that the Aedes aegypti acts as the medium to transmit the disease.  Later, the US Army bacteriologist and pathologist, Major Walter Reed demonstrated the transmission of yellow fever from one human to another through the Aedes mosquito bites. Reed further found that the mosquitoes were the only vector of the disease. American surgeon William Crawford Gorgas was immediately taken measures to control Aedes Mosquitos to avoid spreading. Using this method, he eradicated yellow fever from  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Panama, and all other places. In 1927 researchers from Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research started working on vaccines using the strains of the virus. In 1933, researchers found large transmissions are involving in the transmission of the virus from animal to animal, animal to human..etc.  Majority of the people affected by yellow fever during World War II. Many immunization programs with fever injection provided by various institutions saved many lives. Even though the monkey population is high in tropical Asia if it enters tropical Asia, it may put many lives at risk. But It does not touch Asia, as the ecological condition does not support the transmissions of yellow fever. According to the report of the World Health Organization, yearly about 30,000 people lose their lives due to yellow fever. 


Causes of Yellow Fever

The infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread yellow fever. Based on the cause they are classified as 

  1. .Urban Yellow Fever, which transmits from one person to another person through domestic mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquito

  2. Jungle yellow fever, which transmits from mammalian host to human via forest mosquitoes  (e.g., Haemagogus in South America, A. analyzepatient’santibodytreatmentGood in Africa)

  3. Savannah yellow fever, which transmits from animal to person or person to person through semi-domestic mosquitoes, (e.g., A. furcifer, A. taylori).


Symptoms of Yellow Fever

The symptoms of yellow fever disease are similar to jaundice, malaria, dengue, or leptospirosis. Once the infected mosquito bit the individual, the virus enters the body and takes some time to develop inside the body. 

The Symptoms like:

  1.  Fever

  2. Headache

  3. Vomiting

  4. Nausea

  5. Eyes and skin turns yellow

  6. Chills

  7. Fatigue

  8. Loss of appetite

The severe case may cause the failure of heart, liver, and kidney functions. It is possible to face death if it remains untreated for long days. 

[Image will be Uploaded Soon]

This image shows the clear symptoms of yellow fever, which shows in various parts of the body. 


Diagnostic Method for Yellow Fever

Doctors analyze the patient’s travel history. And interlink with the symptoms of the patients. Later, the doctors collect the blood sample to analyze the antibody generated in the patients’ body to fight against the disease. 


Yellow Fever Treatment 

There is no specific yellow fever treatment. Good nursing and supportive care help to overcome the infection soon.  Controlling the mosquito population and eliminating it may eradicate the disease. People are using fever injection to improve their immune systems. Providing enough fluids, oxygen, and maintaining regular blood pressure helps the infected person to come out of it soon. 


Prevention Methods for Yellow Fever 

The vaccination is the only method for completely preventing the risk of yellow fever. The fever injection with virus strain of vaccine protects from causes of yellow fever. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Is Yellow Fever Life-Threatening?

Ans. Yellow fever is a viral infection mainly spread by mosquitoes.  The person who is infected experiences symptoms like jaundice and haemorrhage. In the earlier days, about 30, 000 people shed their lives yearly because of yellow fever. It was once a life-threatening disease. The infected people initially experience fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, and vomiting. But in the severe case experiences liver, kidney, and heart problems along with bleeding. About 50% of infected people at severe stages die because of yellow fever. 

Q2. How Long Does Yellow Fever Last?

Ans. Yellow fever occurs and is settled near the jungle, it was transmitted from infected monkeys to human beings. Yellow fever infections are mainly spread through mosquitoes. The Aedes mosquitoes carry flavivirus. Once the infected mosquito bites people, the virus enters the body and takes an incubation time of about 3 to 6 days. Once the incubation period is over. The infected person starts experiencing symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle ache, loss of appetite..etc.  In most cases, the symptoms disappear after 3-4 days. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Just taking a rest with a simple immunity booster. Patients can use vaccines. 

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