Yellow Fever

General Illness Information

Medical Term: Not specified

Common Name: Yellow fever

Description: Yellow fever is a serious viral disease spread by a particular species of mosquito prevalent mainly in Africa and South America. The disease belongs to the group of zooanthroponoses. This term combines diseases of humans and certain species of animals.


A person becomes infected with a virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The incubation period lasts from 3 to 6 days. In rare cases, the incubation period can last up to 10 days.

Signs & Symptoms:

The disease, as a rule, has three stages: the initial period, the period of remission and the period of venous stasis.

At the initial period, the following symptoms can be observed:

  • increase in body temperature. The temperature drops in 3 days, but can last up to 8 days. Then the body temperature rises again, but does not reach the initial values;
  • chills, aching muscles and limbs;
  • redness of the face and upper body;
  • icteric sclera;
  • puffy lips and swelling of the lips;
  • insomnia;
  • bright red color of the oral mucosa;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • enlargement of the liver;
  • low blood pressure;
  • cyanotic skin color;
  • gingival hemorrhage, nasal bleeding, blood in vomit.

Period of remission:

  • improvement of the general condition of the patient;
  • decrease in body temperature and puffiness.

After several hours, the patient’s condition deteriorates. This condition is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • jaundice;
  • severe vomiting;
  • drop in blood pressure;
  • intestinal bleeding;
  • weak pulse;
  • kidney damage.


The doctor can correctly diagnose the disease by analyzing the clinical signs of the disease by interviewing the patient about travel and trips that preceded the first symptoms.

Additional methods for diagnosing yellow fever:

  • Blood analysis – general and biochemical – to detect the level of neutrophils, leukocytes and thrombocytes, the level of hepatic enzymes and bilirubin, creatinine and urea, the level of glucose, blood clotting time;
  • Urine analysis for the presence of protein, erythrocytes, epithelium.
  • A serological test, which allows to detect the presence of antibodies to the causative agent of yellow fever in the blood. These tests allow to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Chest X-ray to exclude bacterial pneumonia, which is a frequent complication of the disease;
  • Computed tomography – to confirm or eliminate intracranial bleeding and cerebral edema;
  • ECG for arrhythmia and myocarditis;
  • A liver biopsy to track the extent of its damage;
  • The PCR method to identify the virus in the patient’s blood.


The success of treatment directly depends on how quickly a person gets help. To avoid new infections, he is subsequently placed in the infectious disease department. There is no specific drug, which could stop the development of the disease, so doctors just try to relieve the patient’s condition.


  • anti-inflammatory, steroidal and non-steroidal drugs;
  • antiallergic;
  • hemostatic;
  • diuretics;
  • solutions of glucose, dextrans, salts to eliminate signs of intoxication;
  • vitamin complexes – vitamins B1, B2, C, K;
  • Heparin for the normalization of clotting time;
  • glucocorticoids – to stop vomiting and eliminate shock;
  • anesthetics;
  • antipsychotic drugs;
  • antibiotics (in bacterial inflammation).


The main preventive measures against yellow fever:

  • immunization of people who enter regions with a high incidence of the disease. In particular, vaccination is indicated when entering a number of countries in Africa and South America. Vaccination can not be provided to people with severe forms of immunodeficiency (HIV-infected) and to cancer patients. Also, people over 60 years of age are not vaccinated;
  • disinsection (destruction of insects) of aircraft and vessels leaving endemic areas;
  • using repellents;
  • wearing protective clothing;
  • installation of protective nets.

Possible Complications:

  • infectious-toxic shock;
  • severe brain damage;
  • inflammatory defeats of the heart muscle (myocarditis);
  • gangrene of soft tissues and extremities;
  • secondary bacterial infections (risk of developing pneumonia, mumps, sepsis and other infectious diseases).


Yellow fever can cause renal, hepatic or heart failure.


Not specified.

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