Yellow fever is a hemorrhagic condition that can lead to a high fever, bleeding into the skin, and cell death in the liver and kidneys. If enough liver cells die, liver damage occurs, leading to jaundice, a condition in which the skin takes on a yellowish color.
Fast Facts on Yellow Fever
Here are some key points about cold yellow fever. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
In the past, yellow fever devastated communities, including those in the United States (U.S.) and Europe. In the middle of the 20th century, scientists developed a safe and effective vaccine that prevents yellow fever.
Yellow Fever Symptoms
Yellow fever gets its name from two of its most obvious symptoms: fever and yellowing of the skin. The yellowing occurs because the disease causes liver damage, hepatitis. For some people, yellow fever has no initial symptoms, while for others, the first symptoms appear from three to six days after exposure to the virus from a mosquito bite.
An infection with yellow fever typically has three phases. The first phase of symptoms can last for three to four days and then, for most people, disappears. The first phase is generally non-specific and cannot be distinguished from other viral infections.
The initial symptoms of yellow fever are:
The third-phase symptoms of yellow fever can include:
How Is Yellow Fever Diagnosed?
Yellow fever is diagnosed by your symptoms, recent travel activity, and blood tests. Yellow fever symptoms can mimic symptoms of other tropical disease such as malaria and typhoid, so call your doctor if you have symptoms of yellow fever and have recently traveled to a high-risk country.
There is no effective antiviral medication to treat yellow fever, so treatment consists of supportive care in a hospital.
This includes providing fluids, oxygen, making sure blood pressure is adequate, replacing lost blood, kidney dialysis if there is kidney failure, and treating any secondary infections.
Some patients may be given plasma transfusion to replace proteins that help with clotting.
The patient should be kept away from mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites the patient, they will become infected and then pass the disease on to other people.
They should not use aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because of the risk of bleeding.
Endemic Area of Yellow Fever