Global Yellow Fever Epidemic Grow

The yellow fever epidemic started in December last year. Till now it has caused 5,000 infections and at least 400 deaths in Angola.

It is a struggle to keep a larger outbreak of the vaccine supply; reduce of the mosquito population is very difficult. By now World Health Organization (WHO) vaccinate 14 million people against the disease in 8,000 locations.

The current vaccination plan has public health officials concerned they won’t be able to protect enough people to prevent the spread of the virus. That raises the alarm that the virus could reach closely populated regions in Asia; where it could spread fast or become endemic.

The different mosquito species live in different environments – some type around houses (domestic), others in the jungle (wild), and some in both habitats (semi-domestic). Flavivirus is causing the yellow fever, transferred by the bite of an infected mosquito. The name comes from the yellowing of the skin and eyes that occurs when the virus rounds the liver. A vaccine can prevent yellow fever.

Once contracted, the yellow fever virus incubates in the body for 3 to 6 days. Many people do not experience symptoms. But when these do occur, the most common symptoms are fever, headache, and muscle pain with prominent backache, loss of appetite, and vomiting or nausea. In most cases, symptoms disappear after 4 days.

Occasionally travelers who visit yellow fever endemic countries may transport the disease to countries free from yellow fever. In order to prevent such import of the disease, many countries require proof of vaccination against yellow fever, before they will issue a visa, particularly if tourists come from, or have visited yellow fever endemic areas.

No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with yellow fever. Whenever possible, yellow fever patients should be hospitalized for supportive care and close observation. Mostly recommended are resting, fluids and the usage of pain relievers. .

The majority of infected persons will be asymptomatic or have mild disease with complete recovery. Weakness and fatigue may last several months, and between 20–50% who may die. People who recover from yellow fever generally have lasting immunity against subsequent infection.

Prevention:

If you are planning to travel in some of the infected areas be sure to avoid Mosquito Bites. Use insect repellent when you go outdoors. Wear proper clothing to reduce mosquito bites, long-sleeves, long pants and socks. Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The peak biting times for many mosquito species is dusk to dawn.

Persons aged ≥ 9 months must be vaccinated; also those who are traveling to or living in areas at risk for yellow fever virus transmission in South America and Africa.

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