What Is Yellow Fever?
is a virus that is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
Jungle yellow fever
is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes that have been infected by monkeys carrying the virus.
Urban yellow fever
is passed to mosquitoes from infected humans, and the mosquitoes continue to infect other humans by biting them. Yellow fever cannot be passed from human to human.
The yellow fever virus is found only in South America and sub-Saharan Africa. Jungle yellow fever is typically only passed to humans who work or travel in the rain forest. Yellow fever can only be contracted through a bite from a female mosquito.
Risk factors for getting yellow fever include traveling to an area where humans are already infected by the yellow fever virus or where there are contaminated monkeys or mosquitoes that can transmit the virus.
Symptoms for yellow fever include:
- High fever
- Chills and muscle aches
- Vomiting, sometimes vomiting blood
More serious complications include:
Symptoms typically begin 3-6 days after infection. Yellow fever is diagnosed with a blood test, but there is no course of treatment for the virus. Doctors usually recommend a long period of bed rest, along with plenty of fluids. Patients should also avoid places where mosquitoes are present to avoid spreading the disease to others.
Illness from yellow fever varies from a self-limited illness to hemorrhagic fever, which can be very severe and lead to death.
What Is the Yellow Fever Vaccine?
The vaccine is a weakened, live form of the yellow fever virus. The vaccine is created by growing the live virus in a lab. The preferred storage method is frozen vials. The vaccine is administered subcutaneously (beneath the skin).
The yellow fever vaccine is not usually given with other vaccines, but it may be given with the
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
The following individuals should get vaccinated:
- All individuals aged 9 months to 59 years who are traveling to or living in a place where yellow fever is present such as certain parts of South America and Africa
- People who work in labs and may be exposed to yellow fever
Travelers should be vaccinated at least 10 days before departure.
The vaccine lasts for 10 years. Every 10 years, a booster is required if you are at risk for contracting yellow fever.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
An outbreak of yellow fever in the United States is unlikely since the virus is not geographically present in this country. But in the event of an outbreak, uninfected people would be vaccinated and precautions would be taken to reduce transmission.