Yellow Fever - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Yellow fever is a viral infection caused by a particular kind of mosquito called Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. It is characterized by high-grade fever and jaundice- yellowing of eyes. 

How is Yellow Fever Transmitted?

Yellow fever is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito of Aedes species. They are commonly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. When a mosquito bites an infected person or a monkey, it carries the infection and transmits it to another person through a mosquito bite.

What are the Symptoms of Yellow Fever?

The signs and symptoms of yellow fever may develop quickly after expsoure to the mosquito bite. The initial symptoms occur in 3 to 6 days, resembling that of flu. It can cause;

  • headaches

  • chills

  • fever

  • muscle aches

  • joint aches

Acute phase- the acute phase of yellow fever lasts for 3 to 4 days. Its signs and symptoms are;

  • headache

  • a loss of appetite

  • shivers

  • backaches

  • muscle aches

  • joint aches

  • a fever

  • Flushing

Many people may recover after this phase. However, some may enter the more serious phase known as the toxic phase. 

Toxic phase- the sign and symptoms of the acute phase may disappear for 24 hours and may come back with more severity. It can cause;

  • decreased urination

  • abdominal pain

  • vomiting (sometimes with blood)

  • heart rhythm problems

  • seizures

  • delirium

  • bleeding from the nose, mouth, and eyes

Treatment of Yellow fever:

There is no specific treatment for Yellow fever. It is generally aimed at providing symptomatic relief to the patient by doing the following:

  • Resting

  • Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids

  • Taking acetaminophen/paracetamol for pain relief

Prevention of Yellow Fever

Vaccination is used to prevent Yellow fever from occurring, and it is effective. The best way to protect yourself from it also lies in preventing yourself from a mosquito bite.

Prevention from a mosquito bite:

The following strategies may help in protecting you from mosquito bite:

Using larvicides: In sources of stagnant water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be removed or covered, larvicide can be used to kill mosquito larvae.

Using insecticides: to kill adult mosquitoes, you can spray an insecticide in and out of your home. Mosquitoes like to reside in dark and humid places such as behind the cupboard or under the sink. Make sure to spray a mosquito killer in dark areas where mosquitoes can hide.

Preventing mosquitoes from getting in: Make sure the windows of your house are closed, and there is proper netting to avoid entry of any mosquitoes in your house. Make sure there are no holes in the doors and windows from which mosquitoes can enter.

Wearing full clothing: when going outdoors, it is important to cover yourself properly. Wear long sleeves and tuck your pant in your socks to avoid any mosquito bites.

Apply a mosquito repellent: When going outdoors, apply a mosquito repellent lotion to keep mosquitoes away.


Yellow fever is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes. To prevent it you must get vaccinated against it at the right time. Also, try your best to avoid exposure to mosquitoes because they can also transmit malaria and dengue fever along with Yellow fever. 

Doctors For Yellow Fever

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