Mosquitoes carry a range of viruses, including the strain responsible for an illness called yellow fever. Common in tropical and subtropical areas throughout South America and Africa, yellow fever can cause a range of symptoms and may even be fatal. To help you recognize the disease and learn how getting travel vaccines will help protect you, use the following guide.
A Guide to Identifying Yellow Fever
Early Signs of Yellow Fever
The early signs of yellow fever are similar to other illnesses and include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain in the back and knees, fatigue, light sensitivity, redness to the eyes or face, and weakness. These symptoms abate after several days. In some cases, your body will be able to fight off the disease and your illness will end with this so-called acute phase. However, in other cases, a toxic phase sets in a few days after the end of the acute phase. This more serious form of the illness causes bleeding from your nose, mouth, and eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, delirium, organ failure, coma, and even death. If you have been to a region where yellow fever is common and you suspect you have the illness, seek medical treatment immediately.
Treatments for Yellow Fever
While there is no cure for yellow fever itself, supportive treatments such as IV fluids and pain relievers will manage the symptoms and may be helpful to people recovering from the illness. Full recovery may take several months. Because the illness is difficult to treat and carries a high risk of death, physicians recommend receiving travel vaccines prior to going to places where the infection may be spread. Mosquito protection options like nets or insecticide sprays simply aren’t enough to keep you safe. Vaccinations use weakened portions of the viruses that cause yellow fever to help the body create antibodies that guard against infection. A single dose of the vaccine, which may cause mild side effects, will last 10 years.
Although yellow fever often morphs into a very serious, potentially fatal illness, you can prevent becoming sick in the first place by working with HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA. As a CDC-approved yellow fever center, they offer vaccines that will protect you from this illness during travel. To learn more about the vaccine or to schedule a visit for you and your family, send them a message online, or give their office a call at (703) 961-0733.