Are you travelling to Sub-Saharan Africa or tropical South America? You should get a vaccine shot of yellow fever. It is a serious disease. When left untreated, it can lead to liver damage and death. However, you can prevent it? How? Read on…
Yellow fever is a viral infection that is transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito. According to World Health Organisation 2,00,000 people get affected by yellow fever each year out of which 30,000 die.
What are the symptoms?
In the initial days, a person with yellow fever experiences the following symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Nausea or vomiting
- Decreased appetite
- Red eyes, face or tongue
Usually the symptoms pass off in few days.
If the symptoms become serious and if they are accompanied with the below symptoms, the person should rush to a doctor.
- Yellow skin and yellowing in the whites of the eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting that may contain blood
- Bleeding from nose, mouth or eyes
- Decreased urination
- Slow heart rate
- Liver and kidney failure
What increases the risk?
Yellow fever is spread primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is recognised by white markings on its legs.
People face high risk when they travel to places where mosquitoes continue to carry yellow fever virus. These places are Sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America.
There is no cure for yellow fever. It can be prevented only by a vaccination. Hence if you are planning on travelling to any of the above 2 countries, get a yellow fever vaccine shot several weeks before travelling. This vaccination is to be repeated every 10 years. Generally travel medicine clinics and state or local health departments offer vaccine; they also provide an International Certificate of Vaccination which you have to carry to enter high-risk countries.
When compared to youth, older people are more likely to get seriously ill due to yellow fever.
Are you suitable for a vaccine shot?
The vaccine for yellow fever is not suitable for everyone. The vaccine can cause adverse affects in people having certain health conditions.
One is unsuitable for yellow fever vaccine shot when the person:
- Is having a weakened immune system due to conditions such as HIV
- Is having cancer or thymus gland problems
- Has steroids or is undergoing cancer treatment
- Has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to eggs, chicken, gelatine or past yellow fever vaccine
- Is pregnant or breastfeeding
- Is 65 or above
A child can’t get a vaccine shot when he is below 9 months.
Untreated yellow fever leads to kidney failure, jaundice, and coma. It can eventually lead to death. Hence if you are travelling to Sub-Saharan Africa or tropical South America get a vaccine shot now! For more information, consult a family practice doctor online at eVaidya!
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