Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Fever
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Yellow Fever
Q: Where does Yellow Fever occur?
A:Yellow Fever, a viral mosquito-borne disease, has occurred mainly in Africa and South America, although cases have also been reported in the Caribbean Islands.
Q: Where does Yellow Fever get its name?
A: Yellow refers to the jaundice some people develop when they contract the disease. Jaundice results from liver deterioration or failure and can turn the skin and whites of the eyes a yellowish color.
Q: What is Yellow Fever and what are the symptoms?
A: It usually takes anywhere from 3 to 6 days after being bitten by the mosquito for symptoms to develop, if they develop at all. In milder cases, the person has no symptoms, but in more serious cases, the patient will develop typical flu-like symptoms associated with many other illnesses.
Q: Is Yellow Fever Fatal?
A: If the patient doesn’t improve within three to four days of the onset of the symptoms, they may begin to go through a “toxic phase” where fever redevelops, jaundice appears, external and internal bleeding occurs, and kidneys may begin to fail. Patients can also develop delirium, seizures, heart problems, and or lapse into a coma. Mortality rate is about 50% once patients have reached this point. Those that recover do not seem to have any debilitating consequences of the disease.
Q: How is it spread?
A: There are three words to describe how it spreads: monkeys, mosquitoes and humans. For example, a monkey having the disease is bitten by a mosquito who then transmits the disease to a human – this type usually occurs in the jungle in areas where people are working.
In some cases, the monkey is not part of the cycle. It can also be human to mosquito to human. These transmissions often cause large outbreaks in urban areas.
Q: Is there a vaccine for Yellow Fever?
A: Actually, there is a vaccine for this potentially fatal disease, but the number of cases keeps increasing. As people travel further, and human dwellings encroach on previously undeveloped lands, cases will continue to spread, reaching areas where it has never been a problem up to that point.
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