DefinitionYellow fever is a disease carried by female mosquitoes. The species of mosquito that carry yellow fever are native to sub-Saharan Africa and South America, but can also be found in other areas. Although it may be rare in developed countries, yellow fever is endemic in impoverished areas where people cannot afford to get vaccinated.There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, but vaccination can prevent it.
CausesYellow fever is caused by specific viruses transmitted by bites from infected mosquitoes.
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Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chances of getting yellow fever include:
- Living, working, or traveling areas with yellow fever
- Failure to take proper precautions, such as vaccination or using mosquito protection
SymptomsYellow fever symptoms appear within a week after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Typically, acute phase symptoms will persist for 3-4 days, and then disappear. A small percentage of people progress into the toxic phase. The toxic phase symptoms begin within 24 hours of the end of the acute phase. Recovery from yellow fever provides lifetime immunity from the disease.Acute phase symptoms may include:
- Muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- High fever
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the gums, nose, eyes, and/or stomach
- Vomit that appears black due to blood content
- Low blood pressure
- Liver failure, which may lead to jaundice
- Kidney failure
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