Yellow Fever: Prevention and Combat of a Serious Disease

Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by vectors, and a person who recovers from the disease becomes permanently immune. In this text, we will address transmission, symptoms, the importance of immunization, and prevention measures to combat this potentially dangerous disease.


Transmission of Yellow Fever


Yellow fever can be transmitted in two distinct ways: urban yellow fever and sylvatic yellow fever. The first is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same vector that transmits dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Sylvatic yellow fever, on the other hand, is transmitted by mosquitoes Haemagogus and Sabethes, which inhabit rural and forested areas. Transmission occurs when a non-immunized person is bitten by an infected mosquito and subsequently bitten by another mosquito, allowing the virus to spread.


Symptoms of Yellow Fever


The initial symptoms of yellow fever are similar to those of a common flu: high fever, muscle aches, chills, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the disease can progress to a more severe form with more concerning symptoms, such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), hepatic and renal insufficiencies, and hemorrhagic manifestations. This severe form can lead to death, so it is crucial to seek medical assistance at the first sign of symptoms.


Importance of Immunization


The safest way to prevent yellow fever is through vaccination. The World Health Organization recommends vaccination for all individuals living in endemic areas, as well as those planning to travel to these regions. The vaccine is highly effective and provides long-lasting protection. It is essential to note that the vaccine is free and available at health clinics. However, some people should avoid the vaccine, such as immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, and those allergic to egg yolk. It is essential to seek medical guidance before getting the vaccine, especially to determine the need for additional doses after a certain period.


Diagnosis and Outbreak Alert


The diagnosis of yellow fever is based on the symptoms presented by the patient and their history of exposure to mosquitoes in endemic areas. If there is suspicion of the disease, the doctor may request blood tests to detect the virus. It is important to emphasize that treatment is based on relieving symptoms since there is no specific treatment for yellow fever.


Monkeys have been a cause for concern and alarm during yellow fever outbreaks. However, it is essential to clarify that monkeys do not transmit the disease to humans, just as humans do not transmit the disease to each other. They are also victims of the disease and serve as an alert to the presence of the virus in specific regions, assisting health authorities in taking necessary measures to prevent the spread of yellow fever.


Prevention and Outbreak Control


Following the identification of yellow fever outbreaks, vaccination campaigns have been conducted in various regions of the country to control the disease’s spread. It is essential that all individuals who fit the recommended vaccination profiles get immunized. The World Health Organization ensures that, after 10 days of vaccination, a person is 100% protected.


To combat the spread of mosquito vectors of yellow fever, it is crucial to avoid the accumulation of stagnant water in containers, as these places are the main breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Simple measures, such as covering water tanks and maintaining the cleanliness of gutters and drains, can help reduce mosquito proliferation and, consequently, the risk of disease transmission.


Prevention Is Possible


Yellow fever is a serious disease, but it can be prevented through immunization. Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to protect against the disease and is available for free at health clinics. Additionally, simple prevention measures, such as avoiding the accumulation of stagnant water, are essential to combat the spread of mosquito vectors. It is important to be vigilant for yellow fever symptoms and seek medical assistance at the first sign of infection. With everyone’s cooperation, we can control outbreaks and protect the population from this serious disease.

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