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What is yellow fever? Know its causes, symptoms, precautions and more

Yellow fever is a high risk disease caused by bites from infectious mosquitos. The outbreak can be caused by several factors such as climate and low immunity. However, it is preventable and has a vaccine to combat the outbreak. Read more to find out symptoms and how to prevent it.

Written By : India TV Health Desk Edited By : Muskan Gupta
New Delhi
Updated on: May 15, 2024 16:56 IST
Yellow fever
Image Source : SOCIAL Yellow fever: Causes, symptoms and precautions

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), yellow fever is a viral disease caused when bitten by infected mosquitos. It is mostly found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and southern parts of America. Despite being a fairly rare disease, health minister Ma Subramanian has issued three vaccination centres in Tamil Nadu and urges citizens to get the vaccine.

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a high impact threat, with a risk of threatening global health security. The disease experiences 3 types of transmission cycles: Sylvatic (jungle), intermediate, and urban. The first cycle occurs when monkeys or other animals are bitten by wild mosquitos and pass the virus onto other species and humans. The second cycle occurs when semi-domestic mosquitos which are bred domestically within homes or in the wild bite people and animals. The urban cycle takes place in areas that are high in population and mosquito density, causing an immediate outbreak. These three different types of cycles classify it as a virus with the risk of spreading easily. However, the outbreak depends on the mosquito species and specific climate conditions or regions where the population has little overall immunity.

Yellow Fever: Causes

  • Specific mosquito species: Not every mosquito bite carries the risk of infection. Aedes and Haemagogus mosquitoes are the mosquito species that are the main carriers of the yellow virus epidemic. The Aedes mosquito is also a known carrier of dengue, Zika virus, and Chikungunya, a major epidemic in India in the 1960s.
  • Climate conditions: Tropical and subtropical areas are at the most risk for yellow fever due to the climatic conditions that breed these mosquitos. However, this is most common in Africa and South America and very few cases have been reported in India as of yet.
  • Low immunity: For those with low immunity, susceptibility to yellow virus is much higher as the infected bites can release harmful chemicals into the bloodstream.

Yellow Fever: Symptoms

Symptoms typically reflect within a week and can vary depending on the individual. If you experience any such symptoms, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately.

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Severe headache
  • General body ache
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Bleeding
  • Shock

Yellow Fever: Prevention

To protect yourself from possibly catching yellow fever, here are a few things to be mindful of:

  • Use mosquito repellent at home.
  • Use mosquito repelling cream on the skin and clothes at all times.
  • Avoid going to wet landscapes such as forests in the summer (as it could be a breeding ground for such species of mosquitoes).
  • It is advised to drink plenty of water.

Be careful and stay protected during the season. If possible, vaccinate yourself at a centre near you. In case of any noticeable symptoms, consult a medical professional immediately.

ALSO READ: Suffering from Migraine? 5 root causes that you should be aware of

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