Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Yellow fever disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.

 

Prevention of Yellow Fever

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Use insect repellent. When you go outdoors, use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin. Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
  • Wear proper clothing to reduce mosquito bites. When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection.
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The peak biting times for many mosquito species is dusk to dawn. However, Aedes aegypti, one of the mosquitoes that transmits yellow fever virus, feeds during the daytime. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during daytime as well as during the evening and early morning. Staying in accommodations with screened or air-conditioned rooms, particularly during peak biting times, will also reduce risk of mosquito bites.

 Get Vaccinated

  • Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for persons aged ≥ 9 months who are traveling to or living in areas at risk for yellow fever virus transmission
  • Yellow fever vaccine may be required for entry into certain countries.

 

 Symptoms

 

  • The majority of persons infected with yellow fever virus have no illness or only mild illness.
  • In persons who develop symptoms, the incubation period (time from infection until illness) is typically 3–6 days.
  • The initial symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, severe headache, back pain, general body aches, nausea, and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Most persons improve after the initial presentation.
  • After a brief remission of hours to a day, roughly 15% of cases progress to develop a more severe form of the disease. The severe form is characterized by high fever, jaundice, bleeding, and eventually shock and failure of multiple organs.

 Treatment

  • No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with yellow fever. Whenever possible, yellow fever patients should be hospitalized for supportive care and close observation.
  • Treatment is symptomatic. Rest, fluids, and use of pain relievers and medication to reduce fever may relieve symptoms of aching and fever.
  • Care should be taken to avoid certain medications, such as aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen), which may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Yellow fever patients should be protected from further mosquito exposure (staying indoors and/or under a mosquito net) for up to 5 days after the onset of fever. This way, yellow fever virus in their bloodstream will be unavailable to uninfected mosquitoes, thus breaking the transmission cycle and reducing risk to the persons around them.

 

If you have not yet been vaccinated, please contact your community health centre or family physician for further details on how to get vaccinated.

Should you develop any symptoms of the yellow fever virus, visit our 24/7 Accident and Emergency Department immediately or contact us at 663-7274 or 285-7274.

In light of the recent public advisory to persons travelling internationally, please visit the link below for further details of getting vaccinated in Trinidad & Tobago.

http://www.health.gov.tt/news/newsitem.aspx?id=661