What is Yellow Fever? Yellow fever is an acute viral infection which is spread by a particular mosquito called Aedes aegypti. When the mosquito bites an infected person then the virus enters in the mosquito which then reaches the salivary glands of the mosquito and when that mosquito bites a healthy person, the virus injects the saliva in the person and thus virus gets transferred in the bloodstream of the patient due to which several symptoms of yellow fever may appear within 3-4 days after the mosquito has bitten.
Yellow fever is common in South America and Sahara. You are at higher risk if you are living in these areas or if you are visiting an area where the mosquitoes are found. Although anyone can get affected from the virus people who have weak immune system and older people can easily get infected. The major symptoms of yellow fever are
Major Symptoms Of Yellow Fever
A person having yellow fever passes through 3 stages during which various symptoms appear in the body. First Stage is infection in which symptoms start appearing as the infection spreads in the body. After that the symptoms may stop your condition will improve gradually. This is the stage of remission however, few people may suffer from further severe complications which is the last stage also known as toxic stage in which several organs may stop working proplerly. About 50% of patients who are in the third stage may not be treated and can die within a month. Few symptoms are listed below
Symptoms of acute phase
In acute phase person suffers from several general symptoms related to infections like
- Loss Of Appetite
- Joint and back pain
After noticing improvement in the health of the infected person for several days you may see that the symptoms are again appearing along with other severe complications. Major complications which occur in the toxic stage are mentioned below
Complications in toxic stage
- Jaundice, you will observe yellowing of skin and urine.
- Decreased Urination
- Vomiting, blood may appear
- Redness of eyes
- Kidney and liver failure
- Abdominal Pain
Once you know What is yellow Fever? You should also know how it can be diagnosed and prevented. The acute phase symptoms can be easily confused to other infections but it can be diagnosed with the help of blood test which will show the presence of the virus in the body. Particular blood tests like enzyme linked immunosorbant assay(ELISA) and PCR can detect the presence of antigens specific to the virus.
Till date there is no treatment of the virus and doctors generally try to treat the complications and symptoms of yellow virus. Dialysis for kidney failure, blood transfusion for blood loss and to increase plasma and providing fluid and oxygen are few measures taken for a person who is in the toxic stage.
A very effective vaccine is available which can provide protection for almost 10 years. You must take the vaccine if you are living in the high risk area or if you are planning to visit place take the vaccine 2 weeks prior to the journey.