Yellow Fever

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Yellow fever is a severe hemorrhagic disease caused by virus that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. It is referred to the particularly dangerous infections. Yellow fever is also known as Yellow Jack, yellow plague and Bronze John. It is called yellow because of the jaundice, which is one of the signs of this disease.

First clinical picture of yellow fever was described in America in 1648. Now it is spread within the territories of Tropical Africa and Latin America.

Infected mosquitoes transmit the yellow fever virus from one host to another, mainly among monkeys and people. Virus is transmitted by specific kinds of mosquitoes, for instance, Aedes and Haemogogus. These insects breed near the houses (home mosquitoes), in the jungles (wild mosquitoes) or both habitats.

The first symptoms of yellow fever are splitting headache, unbearable pain in waist, back and legs. By the end of the first day, body temperature rises to 39-40 °C and even more. When body gets a mild infection, yellow fever lasts only three to four days. During the second day, the patient’s condition mainly gets worse: except for the symptoms described above, infected person suffers from painful thirst, nausea, vomiting mucus, and bile. By the end of the first period (3-4th day of illness), the list of symptoms is added by cyanosis, jaundice, slight blood in vomit. The patient’s condition gets better on the 4-5th   day, the body temperature decreases. It is a period of remission.

However, in a few hours the temperature rises again, the patient's condition gets considerably worse. The reactive period begins. The patient’s face becomes pale and his pulse amounts approximately to 50-40 beats per minute. All this causes general weakness and delirium. With a favorable result, the infected organism feels better. The person’s body cannot stand badly complicated infective forms. Sometimes it results in death even on the second day. The average amount of people who die from the yellow fever virus ranges from 50 to 60 per cent out of those who are critically ill.

Preventive control helps to prevent an agent of the disease from getting to the territory of the country from abroad. It is based on the following of the International Health Regulations. There are special organizations that carry out the extermination of mosquitoes and their breeding places. In order to prevent people from disease outbreak, an important thing is to identify the yellow fever as soon as possible. Vaccination is the only possible measure to avert people from this disease. The vaccine against yellow fever is completely safe and not very expensive. It provides the capability of the organism to confront the infective virus. One dose of vaccine guarantees protection for as long as 30-35 years, and, possibly, for the whole life. Serious side effects are rarely observed.

The special treatment for yellow fever does not exist. In order to prevent the body from dehydration and reduce the temperature, doctors should carry out symptomatic therapy. Symptomatic therapy can improve the condition of critically ill patients, but in poor areas such therapy is rarely available.

Everybody should remember that the only way to overcome yellow fever successfully is not to wait that the illness will be cured on its own. There is nothing left for the infected person to do but to consult a doctor.

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