What Is Yellow Fever?

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by a bite from infected mosquitoes most commonly found in parts of South America and Africa. When transmitted to humans, the yellow fever virus can damage the liver and other internal organs and be potentially fatal.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 200,000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. Yellow fever appears to be on the rise internationally, due to a decreased immunity to infection among local populations, deforestation, climate change, and high-density urbanization.

How Is Yellow Fever Treated?
There is no cure for the viral infection itself, thus medical treatment of yellow fever focuses on easing symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, and dehydration.

  • Avoid aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you suspect you have yellow fever.
  • Hospitalization is often needed.

Yellow Fever Prevention Through Vaccination
The yellow fever vaccine is advised for adults and children over age 9 months who are traveling to or living in countries with a known risk of yellow fever. Certain countries in Africa and Latin America with the highest risk of exposure to yellow fever now require proof of yellow fever vaccination before allowing you to travel there.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.