Yellow Fever Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Yellow Fever Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Yellow Fever: A Helpful Informative Guide to Help You Prevent It

Yellow Fever is a viral infection that spreads through a mosquito bite. The disease is very common in certain parts of Africa and South America. The infection causes serious damage to the human body affecting the liver and other internal organs, often leading to death.  According to the figures put up by the World Health Organisation (WHO), yellow fever affects nearly 200,000 people, killing 30,000 every year.

But Dr Mohammad Bakhtiar, a renowned doctor and leading clinician at the Medical Express Clinic in London, assures that since the number of British citizens travelling to the yellow fever-infected zoneis very low, their chances of bringing the infection back home is pretty low too. But yellow fever vaccine is crucial for the travellers going to the yellow fever-infected zone because there’s no cure for the infection as of yet, which often claims many lives annually.

It is relevant to mention in this context that the Medical Express Clinic is one of the only Private Clinic in Harley Street that offer vaccination for yellow fever. The clinic can be reached easily from anywhere in the city and beyond because of its central location on Harley Street in Marylebone.

Hosts

Yellow fever is a disease which can be obtained through the bite of a mosquito. People can also spread the disease through blood transfusion from an infected person or contaminated needles. Certain species of mosquito that transmit the infection breed in urban areas, while others are in jungles. Those that breed in jungles also transmit the disease to monkeys. Thus, both man and monkeys are hosts for yellow fever.

Symptoms

Yellow fever – as the name suggests – shows these two most obvious symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Yellowing of the skin

Yellowing of the skin is causedbecause the infection damages the liver, like hepatitis. A patient infected with yellow fever passes through 3 phases.

In the first phase, the symptoms last 3 to 4 days and then disappear on their own. These symptoms are very generic and practically indistinguishable from any other viral infection. At this stage patients suffer from fever, chill and complain about flu-like symptoms like muscle ache, nausea and headache.

The second phase is remission, during which patients get better automatically. This phase lasts about 48 hours.

According to doctors at a renowned yellow fever vaccine centre, nearly 15% to 25% of yellow fever patients pass on to the third, the most toxic phase of the infection. They develop a condition called viral haemorrhagic fever accompanied by complexities like high temperature, severe damage to the circulatory system, liver and kidney. Unfortunately, half the patients at this stage never recover and this is why the World Health Organisation is extremely concerned about yellow fever.

In the third phase one may also develop complexities like:

  • Jaundice – which results in the yellowing of the skin and the eyes.
  • Hepatitis – or liver inflammation.
  • Internal haemorrhage or bleeding.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • Multisystem organ failure.

Finally a patient succumbs to death. 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of yellow fever is done on basis of a patient’s:

  • Symptoms
  • Recent travel activity
  • Certain blood tests

Treatment

There is no precise treatment for yellow fever. Doctors focus on controlling the fever, ease the muscle pain and avoid dehydration. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin are not administered on these patients to minimise the risk of internal bleeding. Patients are usually referred for hospitalisation to ensure proper care.

Yellow fever vaccine

As yellow fever has no effective treatment, its prevention is crucial. Yellow fever vaccines prove effective for not only adults but also babies older than 9 months old. It is utmost important for anyone travelling to the high-risk zone of yellow fever across Africa and South America from anywhere in the world to get the necessary vaccination to stay safe and healthy.

Both state and local health departments as well as travel medicine clinics offer this vaccine. Once vaccinated, the effect lasts 10 years and then you need to get the vaccine again. The centres that provide yellow fever vaccination also issue the International Certificate of Vaccination, which is a mandatory document for travellers to enter certain high-risk yellow fever countries.

Who are not ideal candidate for yellow fever vaccination

Yellow fever vaccine is not ideal for everyone. It may cause severe adverse effects among individuals suffering from the following conditions:

  • Compromised immune system or HIV.
  • Cancer or problem with the thymus gland.
  • Severe allergic reactions to eggs, gelatine or chicken.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Above 65 years of age or older.
  • Babies less than 9 months old.

Other measures to prevent yellow fever

Apart from vaccination, you should also follow the measures discussed below to lower your risk of getting infected:

  • Use the necessary mosquito repellents to protect your exposed skin from mosquito bites.
  • Keep your arms, legs, head and face covered as much as possible to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Sleep inside mosquito nets.
  • Get screens fitted on doors and windows to keep all kinds of insects away.
  • Avoid staying outdoors at dawns and dusks, when mosquitoes are most active.

You’re free to contact our yellow fever vaccination centre in London for more information. The Medical Express Clinic stays open from 09:00 am to 09:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 am to 02:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.