Yellow fever is a type of disease caused by viruses and it is transmitted through a mosquito intermediaries. The disease is characterized by high fever, as well as eyes and skin that is yellow due to decreased liver function. Generally, yellow fever is found in the regions of Africa, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Yellow fever can attack people living in endemic areas and tourists who are visiting the area.
Causes of yellow fever
Yellow fever is caused by viruses derived from the Flavivirus genus, and it is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These types of mosquitoes thrive in human surroundings. In fact, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes also breed in clean water.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry a yellow fever virus after a bite of a human or a monkey that is being infected. The Virus then enters the blood flow of mosquitoes and settle in the saliva gland. When the mosquito is back to bite other people, the virus will enter the body through the bloodstream and spread in the body.
Dusk to Dawn is the time when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are active, so at that time the spread of the yellow fever virus occurs most.
Yellow fever Risk Factors
Those who have not received a yellow fever vaccine and live in an area where there are many mosquitoes carrying the virus are at high risk of developing yellow fever. In addition, people who often travel to areas with high yellow fever cases are also at greater risk of high fever. These areas include sub-Saharan Africa and South America.
Yellow Fever Symptoms
Symptoms of yellow fever are divided into three phases:
The incubation phase lasts for 1-3 days after the virus is infected. In this phase, the body has not shown any signs or symptoms.
The acute phase lasts for 3-4 days and occurs on the 3rd or 4th day after it is infected. Symptoms that arise will disappear after the acute phase ends and most people can recover after going through this phase. The perceived symptoms are:
- Eyes, face, or reddish tongue.
- Head pain.
- Glare against the light.
- Decreased appetite.
- Muscle pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
The toxic phase, when the symptoms of yellow fever are felt again by the sufferer but with a more serious severity. Symptoms arise, among others:
- The skin and sclera (white part of the eye) are yellow.
- Heart rate slows down.
- Abdominal pain.
- Vomiting that is sometimes accompanied by blood.
- Nosebleed, gum bleeding, and bleeding from the eye.
- Decreased amount of urine and renal failure.
- Liver failure.
- Decreased brain function, including delirium, seizures, up to coma.
Yellow fever treatment
Unfortunately, until now, the drug has not been found to cure yellow fever. To fight this disease, then your immune system will only be able to kill the virus. Some ways of treatment can be done to support the immune system in treating the symptoms that arise, among others:
- Provide additional oxygen.
- Give fever and pain relief, such as paracetamol.
- Keep blood pressure not down with fluid infusion.
- Blood transfusions, in the case of bleeding.
- Dial blood if you experience kidney failure.
Yellow fever prevention
Yellow fever is a disease that is difficult to treat, therefore prevention is an effort that can be done to avoid the disease. Some of these ways to prevent yellow fever, among others:
This is the most major way to prevent yellow fever, especially for those who want to travel to risky areas such as countries in Africa as well as Latin America and the Caribbean islands. Vaccination is best done 3 to 4 weeks before departure. One dose of yellow fever vaccine can provide protection at least 10 years.
Despite having side effects, but no need to worry because the symptoms are quite mild.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
In addition to vaccination, the risk of yellow fever can be reduced by protecting yourself from mosquito bites. There are several ways that can be done to lower the risk of mosquito bites, such as:
- Wear long sleeves and trousers.
- Avoid outdoor activities, especially in the afternoon to dawn.
- Choose a place to stay equipped with a window with mosquito wire and air conditioner.
- If you do not have as air conditioner and mosquito wire window, use mosquito nets.
- Use mosquito repellent lotion to taste.
- Use some natural ingredients like eucalyptus oil as anti mosquito protection.