7 Ways To Prevent Yellow Fever

7 Ways To Prevent Yellow Fever

INTRODUCTION

Yellow fever is a viral disease of typically short duration. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus(an RNA virus of genus flavivirus) and is spread by the bite of an infected female mosquito. It infects only humans, other primates, and several species of mosquitoes. In cities, it is spread primarily by Aedes aegypti, a type of mosquito found throughout the tropics and subtropics. In most cases, symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and headaches. Yellow fever symptoms typically improve within five days but In about 15% of people, within a day of improving the fever comes back, abdominal pain occurs, and liver damage begins causing yellow skin. If this occurs, the risk of bleeding and kidney problems is also increased.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Below are facts as regards signs and symptoms of yellow fever:

  • Most people will not have symptoms.
  • Some people will develop yellow fever illness with initial symptoms including:
    • Sudden onset of fever
    • Chills
    • Severe headache
    • Back pain
    • General body aches
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Fatigue (feeling tired)
    • Weakness
    • Most people with the initial symptoms improve within one week.
    • For some people who recover, weakness and fatigue (feeling tired) might last several months.
  • A few people will develop a more severe form of the disease.
    • For 1 out of 7 people who have the initial symptoms, there will be a brief remission (a time you feel better) that may last only a few hours or for a day, followed by a more severe form of the disease.
  • Severe symptoms include:
    • High fever
    • Yellow skin (jaundice)
    • Bleeding
    • Shock
    • Organ failure
  • Severe yellow fever disease can be deadly. If you develop any of these symptoms, see a healthcare provider immediately.
  • Among those who develop severe disease, 30-60% die.

DIAGNOSIS

  • Yellow fever is difficult to diagnose, especially during the early stages. A more severe case can be confused with severe malaria, leptospirosis, viral hepatitis (especially fulminant forms), other hemorrhagic fevers, infection with other flaviviruses (such as dengue hemorrhagic fever), and poisoning.
  • Yellow fever infection is diagnosed based on laboratory testing, a person’s symptoms, and travel history.

TREATMENT

  • There is no medicine to treat or cure the infection of yellow fever.
  • Rest, drink fluids, and use pain relievers and medication to reduce fever and relieve aches.
  • Avoid certain medications, such as aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve), which may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • People with severe symptoms of yellow fever infection should be hospitalized for close observation and supportive care.
  • If after returning from travel you have symptoms of yellow fever (usually about a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito), protect yourself from mosquito bites for up to 5 days after symptoms begin. This will help prevent spreading yellow fever to uninfected mosquitoes that can spread the virus to other people. Once you have been infected, you are likely to be protected from future infections.

PREVENTION

1.  Vaccination

Vaccination is the most important means of preventing yellow fever.

The yellow fever vaccine is safe, affordable and a single dose provides life-long protection against yellow fever disease. A booster dose of yellow fever vaccine is not needed.

Several vaccination strategies are used to prevent yellow fever disease and transmission: routine infant immunization; mass vaccination campaigns designed to increase coverage in countries at risk; and vaccination of travelers going to yellow fever endemic areas.

2. Vector control

The risk of yellow fever transmission in urban areas can be reduced by eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites, including by applying larvicides to water storage containers and other places where standing water collects.
Both vector surveillance and control are components of the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases, especially for transmission control in epidemic situations.

3. Epidemic preparedness and response

Prompt detection of yellow fever and rapid response through emergency vaccination campaigns are essential for controlling outbreaks. However, underreporting is a concern – the true number of cases is estimated to be 10 to 250 times what is now being reported.

WHO recommends that every at-risk country have at least one national laboratory where basic yellow fever blood tests can be performed.

4. Use Insect Repellent

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with DEET, Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)  or IR3535 as its active ingredient. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

5. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

6. Treat clothing and gear

7. Prevent mosquito bites when traveling overseas:

  • Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside or in a room that does not have screens.
    • Buy a bed net at your local outdoor store or online before traveling overseas.
    • Choose a WHOPES-approved bed net: compact, white, rectangular, with 156 holes per square inch, and long enough to tuck under the mattress.
    • Permethrin-treated bed nets provide more protection than untreated nets.
  • Do not wash bed nets or expose them to sunlight. This will break down the insecticide more quickly.

   IN SUMMARY

  • Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to jaundice that affects some patients.
  • Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
  • A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of those die within 7 to 10 days.
  • The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America.
  • Large epidemics of yellow fever occur when infected people introduce the virus into heavily populated areas with high mosquito density and where most people have little or no immunity, due to lack of vaccination. In these conditions, infected mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species transmit the virus from person to person.
  • Yellow fever is prevented by an extremely effective vaccine, which is safe and affordable. A single dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection against yellow fever disease. A booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. The vaccine provides effective immunity within 10 days for 80-100% of people vaccinated, and within 30 days for more than 99% of people vaccinated.
  • Good supportive treatment in hospitals improves survival rates. There is currently no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever.

 

 

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