What is Yellow Fever?
Yellow fever is a serious viral disease spread by mosquito bites. It can be spread from one host to another, including between monkeys and humans.
The mosquitos live and breed in jungle and urban areas. Yellow fever mainly occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, South America and in parts of the Caribbean.
Yellow fever can be fatal, but there is a vaccination for the disease.
How common is Yellow Fever?
The virus has a more or less constant number of sufferers. Every year about 200,000 cases of yellow fever are recorded, but these figures are underestimated because of poor-record keeping.
There are an increasing number of epidemics, in which a large number of people suddenly develop the disease.
In total, yellow fever occurs in 33 countries and more than 500 million people are at risk of catching the disease.
What are the symptoms of Yellow Fever?
The incubation period of yellow fever is usually three to six days. Initial symptoms of yellow fever include a high temperature, headache, chills, nausea, aching muscles, backache and loss of appetite.
After these symptoms around 15% of people develop further, more severe symptoms, including a recurrent high temperature, abdominal pain, vomiting blood, bleeding from the mouth, eyes, nose and stomach, jaundice and kidney failure.
Half of the people who have the second toxic phase of symptoms die within 10-14 days.
How is Yellow Fever treated?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for yellow fever, but the symptoms can be treated. Painkillers can control a high temperature and pain.
Severe symptoms will need to be treated in hospital, and may include a ventilator, a blood transfusion and kidney dialysis.
If access to Specialist Treatment centres is important, choose a policy with London Hospital coverage.