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Yellow Fever

Yellow Iever is a tropical disease that is spread to humans by inIected


mosquitoes.
Many yellow Iever inIections are mild. but the disease can cause severe. liIe-
threatening illness.
Yellow Iever is Iound only in AIrica and South America.
Yellow Iever is preventable by immunization. Travelers to countries with
yellow Iever should get the yellow Iever vaccine.

What is yeIIow fever?
Yellow Iever is a tropical disease that is spread to humans by inIected mosquitoes.

What is the infectious agent that causes yeIIow fever?
Yellow Iever is caused by the yellow Iever virus.

Where is yeIIow fever found?
Yellow Iever is Iound only in parts oI South America and AIrica. There are two kinds
oI yellow Iever. spread by two diIIerent cycles oI inIection.
Jungle yellow Iever is mainly a disease oI monkeys. It is spread Irom inIected
mosquitoes to monkeys in the tropical rain Iorest. People get iungle yellow Iever when
they put themselves in the middle oI this natural cycle and are bitten by mosquitoes that
have been inIected by monkeys. Jungle yellow Iever is rare and occurs mainly in
persons who work in tropical rain Iorests.
Urban yellow Iever is a disease oI humans. It is spread by mosquitoes that have been
inIected by other people. Aedes aegvpti is the type oI mosquito that usually carries
yellow Iever Irom human to human. These mosquitoes have adapted to living among
humans in cities. towns. and villages. They breed in discarded tires. Ilower pots. oil
drums. and water storage containers close to human dwellings. Urban yellow Iever is
the cause oI most yellow Iever outbreaks and epidemics.

How do peopIe get yeIIow fever?
People get yellow Iever Irom the bite oI an inIected Iemale mosquito. The mosquito
iniects the yellow Iever virus into the bite.

What are the signs and symptoms of yeIIow fever?
Many yellow Iever inIections are mild. but the disease can cause severe. liIe-
threatening illness. Symptoms oI severe inIection are high Iever. chills. headache.
muscle aches. vomiting. and backache. AIter a brieI recovery period. the inIection can
lead to shock. bleeding. and kidney and liver Iailure. Liver Iailure causes iaundice
(yellowing oI the skin and the whites oI the eyes). which gives yellow Iever its name.

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
Symptoms start 3 to 6 days aIter being bitten by an inIected mosquito.

How is yeIIow fever diagnosed?
Yellow Iever is diagnosed by a blood test.

Who is at risk for yeIIow fever?
People are at risk iI they travel to an area where there is yellow Iever in humans or
monkeys and there are mosquitoes to spread the virus.

What compIications can resuIt from yeIIow fever?
Severe yellow Iever inIections can be Iatal.

What is the treatment for yeIIow fever?
There is no speciIic treatment Ior yellow Iever. Persons with yellow Iever should rest
and drink plenty oI Iluids. They should be kept away Irom mosquitoes Ior the
protection oI others. Most people get better aIter a long recovery period.

How common is yeIIow fever?
Yellow Iever is common in West and Central AIrica and in parts oI South America.
Periodic epidemics in AIrica lead to hundreds oI thousands oI cases. Yellow Iever is a
very rare cause oI illness in U.S. travelers.

Is yeIIow fever an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease?
Yes. There has been a dramatic re-emergence oI yellow Iever in AIrica and South
America since the 1980s.

How can yeIIow fever be prevented?
Yellow Iever can be prevented by vaccination. Travelers should also take precautions
against mosquito bites when in areas with yellow Iever transmission.
If necessarv. get vaccinated for vellow fever before travel.
Travelers should get vaccinated Ior yellow Iever beIore visiting areas where
yellow Iever is Iound. In the United States. the vaccine is given only at
designated yellow Iever vaccination centers.
International regulations require prooI oI yellow Iever vaccination Ior travel to
and Irom certain countries. People who get vaccinated should be given an
International CertiIicate oI Vaccination.
Avoid mosquito bites when traveling in tropical areas.
Mosquitoes that spread yellow Iever usually bite during the day. Travelers should take
steps to reduce contact with mosquitoes when outdoors and inside.
When outside:
Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants. For extra protection. treat clothing
with the insecticide permethrin.
Use insect repellent on exposed skin. The most eIIective repellents contain 20
to 35 DEET (N.N-diethylmethyltoluamide). Follow application instructions
careIully when using these products.
When inside:
Stay in well-screened areas as much as possible.
Spray living and sleeping areas with insecticide.
Use a bednet when sleeping in a room that is not screened or air conditioned.
For extra protection. treat the bednet with the insecticide permethrin.


This Iact sheet is Ior inIormation only and is not meant to be used Ior selI-diagnosis or
as a substitute Ior consultation with a health-care provider. II you have any questions
about the disease described above or think that you might be at risk Ior yellow Iever.
consult a health-care provider.