Yellow Fever Facts

Yellow Fever Facts
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitos and has the potential to cause yellowing of the skin due to liver damage. Although there is a vaccination some populations do not have access to it and out of the approximate 200,000 cases each year, 30,000 people die from yellow fever. Once bitten by an infected female mosquito, the symptoms begin within 3 to 6 days. The symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and back and muscle pain. In most cases it clears up in four days, but in some a second stage begins that can result in damage to the liver and kidneys, and can potentially be fatal.
Interesting Yellow Fever Facts:
Yellow fever got its name because of its ability to cause a person's skin to turn a yellow color. This is a result of liver damage.
It is believed that yellow fever likely originated in Africa. From there it was brought to North America, Central America, and South America likely from the slave trade.
There have been several serious outbreaks of yellow fever documented in history.
In the 1600s a serious outbreak occurred in the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the late 1700s New England and other port cities in North America suffered severe yellow fever outbreaks, including the outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793 that killed 10% of its population.
In 1905 New Orleans suffered a severe yellow fever outbreak. It was the last major one in North America.
In the late 1800s a Cuban doctor named Dr. Carlos Finlay theorized that yellow fever was caused by infected mosquitos.
In the early 1900s U.S. Army Major Dr. Walter Reed proved that Dr. Finlay's theory was correct.
The first yellow fever vaccine was created in the 1930s by Max Theiler.
Max Theiler's vaccine was used to help eliminate and to control outbreaks in African and South American countries into the mid-1900s.
The yellow fever virus can be transmitted from humans to humans or from monkeys to humans. This occurs by mosquito bites.
Most (90%+) of cases of yellow fever occur in Africa. The rest are in Central and South America.
Although yellow fever has not been found in Asia, it could occur there as well because of the primate population and type of mosquitos found there.
Although there is a vaccine to protect humans against yellow fever, once a person has been infected there is no specific treatment.
Once infected the treatment of yellow fever involves trying to lessen the symptoms. There is not a cure.
There are two types of yellow fever. One type is called sylvatic, which is also known as jungle yellow fever. The other is urban yellow fever.
Yellow fever is present in at least 30 countries in Africa.
In the Americas yellow fever is most common in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Columbia, and Peru.
The best way to avoid contracting yellow fever is to ensure one is immunized before travelling to countries that have yellow fever.
Mosquito repellant can also help deter infected mosquitos from biting.

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