Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has long been lurking around the world. This is an incredibly complex and dangerous disease. Read on as we shed light on some of the signs and symptoms of yellow fever that you must look out for, along with how this deadly disease works and the best way to prevent getting it.
How To Avoid: Get Vaccinated
One of the best ways to avoid getting yellow fever is with a yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever can be potentially deadly, and a vaccine is your first and best line of defense. If you are planning a trip to a high-risk area or simply want to protect yourself and your family, a vaccine is the strongest and simplest way to do so.
How It Starts: The Incubation Period
It all starts with a bite. This is how yellow fever begins. If you are bitten by a female Aedes or Haemagogus mosquito harboring the yellow fever virus, it won’t be long before you start to feel the effects. For most people, they won’t notice many changes for 3 to 6 days. This is referred to as the incubation period. During this time, the virus is quietly multiplying in your body, undetected and ready to strike.
What Happens Next? The Acute Phase Comes In
Next, as the virus gains momentum, it strikes with the onset of symptoms. Occasionally, yellow fever remains undetected as its symptoms are similar to those of the flu or common cold. You may experience a fever, chills, headaches, and muscle pain. This phase typically lasts for 3 to 4 days and is known as the period of infection.
The Oliguric Phase Follows After
The next phase of the disease can go one of two ways. For some, the worst is over. However, for many, the worst is only just beginning. Some people will notice their symptoms subside, and they will go into remission. Others will go on to have more severe symptoms and complications from the disease.
The Toxemic Phase Swiftly Comes In
In approximately 15% of cases, the intoxication phase marks the culmination of the disease. Severe cases of yellow fever are noticeable due to the following symptoms: jaundice (yellowing of the skin), dark urine, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even bleeding. This is incredibly tough on your body. Your liver and kidneys take the brunt of this brutal assault. In some cases, this can lead to life-threatening circumstances.
Final Part: The Convalescent Phase
The final phase signals your recovery. After making it out the other side, it’s common to experience feelings of weakness and fatigue in the weeks and months that follow this treacherous disease.
How To Handle It: Catch It Early
The key to managing yellow fever is early detection. Timely diagnosis means you can access the correct healthcare you’ll need to deal with the symptoms, as well as any complications that arise. If you suspect you have yellow fever, you should get to a healthcare professional immediately.
Yellow fever is a terrible disease, and due to its similarities with the flu, it can often go untreated. A chameleon of infectious diseases, it’s of critical importance that you know the signs and symptoms to look out for while doing everything in your power to avoid this potentially life-threatening disease.