HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM YELLOW FEVER?
Yellow Fever is a disease that can have fatal consequences. Large-scale outbreaks (where huge numbers of people are infected at once) are a major danger to African cities. There is a vaccine for yellow fever that stops people catching it. Vaccination saves lives.
The more people that are vaccinated, the less chance a big outbreak in towns and cities will occur.
WHERE IS YELLOW FEVER FOUND?
34 African countries in the middle of Africa are at risk from Yellow Fever.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF YELLOW FEVER?
Some people don’t have symptoms. Those that do have them 3-6 days after being bitten:
- Muscle pain
- Back ache
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue (feeling extremely tired)
24 hours after recovering from these symptoms, some patients then develop more serious symptoms. Half of these people die within 7 to 10 days.
- The high fever returns
- Jaundice (which makes the eyes and skin yellow)
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain with vomiting
- Bleeding from eyes, nose or mouth
If a person has this severe form they must seek medical attention immediately. Treating their symptoms reduces mortality. But there is not a specific cure for yellow fever so lots of people die. Being vaccinated prevents this.
HOW IS YELLOW FEVER SPREAD?
Yellow Fever is spread through mosquito bites. These mosquitos can live in the forest. People working or travelling in the forest can be bitten. Mosquitos also live in urban areas (cities and towns). Mosquitos biting in cities transmit Yellow Fever from person to person. This leads to large-scale outbreaks of the disease.
PREVENTING YELLOW FEVER THROUGH VACCINATION?
The Yellow Fever vaccine is very effective and having it just once will protect you for life. You are protected from 30 days after you have the vaccine. Being vaccinated will stop you getting Yellow Fever and can save your life.
Pregnant women, children under 9 months old, people over 60 years old and people with HIV might have bad side effects if they are vaccinated. These people aren’t vaccinated unless there is an outbreak where they live.
If someone has yellow fever it needs reporting immediately. This is so they can be treated. It is also so that governments know an outbreak might be about to happen. They can then prepare cities against this by offering vaccinations to more people and killing mosquitos.