Yellow fever is a serious disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is mainly found in central areas of Africa and tropical areas of South America. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread directly from person to person. However, infected people can transmit the virus back to mosquitoes if bitten shortly before the onset of symptoms and for the first 3 to 5 days of illness.
Most people infected with yellow fever virus will not have symptoms. If symptoms are present, they will begin about 3 to 6 days after exposure. Symptoms begin with a sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, backache, myalgia (muscle pain), fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Most people improve after this initial presentation. However, about 15% of people with symptoms will have a brief remission followed by jaundice (yellowing of the skin), hemorrhagic symptoms, and eventually shock and multisystem organ failure. The overall death rate for cases with jaundice is up to 50%.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Care focuses on symptomatic relief and includes rest, fluids, analgesics and fever-reducing medications usually within a hospital environment.
There is one yellow fever vaccine licensed for use in the United States.
Product: YF-Vax® (Yellow Fever Vaccine)
Manufacturer: Sanofi Pasteur
Year licensed: 1978
* Yellow fever vaccine contains egg
protein and gelatin. Stopper contains dry, natural latex rubber. See
package insert for other content information.