10 Absorbing Facts About Yellow Fever

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1.Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral illness.

  • Mosquitoes are the vector for the disease transmission.
  • Virus that causes Yellow fever belongs in the genus Flavivirus.
  • Direct contact to an infected person does not transmit the disease.

2.Yellow fever comes in three stages.

  • Infection stage where the patient will experience flu-like symptoms.
  • Remission stage where recovery is possible on some patients while others may progress to worsening of the condition within 24 hours.
  • Toxic stage the most serious stage of the yellow fever infection affecting several organs.

3.Yellow fever can be hardly distinguished from other viral hemorrhagic disease.

  • Dengue fever is also a viral hemorrhagic disease which resembles other presenting symptoms in the early onset of yellow fever.
  • Dengue and yellow fever are both mosquito-borne diseases.
  • The symptoms that can differentiate the two are the intensity and location of muscle pains or joint pains.
  • Dengue fever is also called “bone crusher” disease due to the severe intensity of joint pains associated to it.
  • In dengue fever, the platelet count of the infected person tends to decrease rapidly which causes the bleeding symptoms.
  • Commercial vaccine for prevention of yellow fever is available.
  • Confirmatory test for either of the disease is done through blood test.

4.Yellow fever will literally turns the infected patient to yellow.

  • Flavivirus (the virus that cause yellow fever), Flavi means yellow in Latin.
  • Clinical manifestation of the disease ranges from subclinical infection to systemic involvement.
  • Toxic phase of yellow fever is within 24 hours of remission.
  • The patient will rapidly develop jaundice, a yellow tinge discoloration of the skin secondary to liver involvement.

5.Yellow fever can cause internal bleeding.

6.There is no known treatment for yellow fever.

  • Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease.
  • It may cause clotting problems in the progression of the disease to toxic phase.
  • Patient may present hemorrhagic symptom like vomiting out of blood and possibly bleeding from nose and gums.
  • Internal hemorrhage will lead to shock and eventually multi-organ failure that can result to death.
  • Treatment is directed towards the clinical symptoms such as rest and pain medications for aching muscles.
  • Infected patient needs hospitalization for close monitoring and supportive care.
  • In yellow fever cases that develop jaundice, 20 – 35 % is fatal.

 7.Highest rates of Yellow fever cases are on tropical countries.

  • Yellow fever is endemic to some countries of Africa and in South, Central and Latin America.
  • About 90% of reported cases from the disease are from Africa.

8.Natural immunity is acquired after yellow fever infection.

  • After recovery from yellow fever, the person gets its long lasting immunity from reinfection.
  • Immunization is also made available through vaccination.
  • Yellow fever vaccine comes in single dose and booster shot needed.

9.Monkeys are one of the primary reservoirs of yellow fever virus.

  • The disease has 3 cycle of transmission. The sylvatic (jungle), savannah and urban cycle.
  • In the jungle cycle, primates (non-human) get the virus from wild mosquitoes in the tropical rainforest and the vector that fed on them will then transfer (through mosquito bites) the virus to humans.
  • Yellow fever infection imposes an occupational threat to people involved in logging industry.


10.Yellow fever virus is not a possible agent to use in Bioterrorism.

  • The virus can only be transmitted by an infected vector mosquito bite on humans.
  • Pathogenic agents used in biological warfare are those infectious agents such as virus, bacteria or toxin usually in human-modified form.

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