- by Bgs Gleneagles Global Hospitals
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- Jan 29 2018
What is Yellow Fever?- Dr. Ravikeerthy
It is an acute viral infectious disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can be a life-threatening disease causing haemorrhagic fever and hepatitis. The WHO estimates there are 200,000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. It is not contagious, although the infection can be transmitted directly into the blood through contaminated needles.
It is caused by a virus and the virus is a single-stranded RNA virus that belongs to the Flavivirus genus. After transmission it widespread into organs via the bloodstream. It can affect the bone marrow, spleen lymph nodes, kidneys, and liver.
It is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and South America. Its incubation period is generally between three to six days.
- Generalized muscle aches
- Back pain
- A headache
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding from the gums, nose, eyes
- Blood in stool and vomit
- Kidney failure
In yellow fever symptoms during initial phase are non-specific and similar to a flu-like illness, diagnosis during this stage can be difficult. There is no specific test for the diagnosis.PCR test is done for confirmation.
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Supportive measures implemented depend on the severity of the disease and may include,
- Oxygen administration
- Intravenous fluid administration for dehydration
- Medications to increase blood pressure in cases of circulatory collapse
- Transfusion of blood in case of severe bleeding
- Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections
- Dialysis for kidney failure
- Endotracheal intubation
Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing yellow fever. It is a live virus vaccine that provides long-lasting immunity after a single dose.