Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Each year, 200,000 cases of yellow fever occur of which 30,000 are fatal. The disease is a threat for over three million travelers visiting endemic regions each year.
Symptoms of Yellow fever
Following an incubation period of one week, the first signs of the disease typically include fever, chills, muscle pain, and headaches, suggestive of flu, dengue or malaria. In the most severe forms of the disease, a transient remission period occurs after three days, and is followed by the onset of a hemorrhagic syndrome associated with vomiting of black blood, jaundice (hence the name of the disease), and renal failure.
The outcome is fatal in 20 to 50% of cases. All curable forms of the disease confer lifelong immunity to the patients.
No specific antiviral treatment is available against yellow fever.
Epidemiology and vaccination against Yellow fever
WHO estimates that a total of 200,000 cases of Yellow fever occur each year, with about 30,000 deaths.
Yellow fever is a threat for over three million travelers visiting endemic regions each year.
Although the usefulness of vaccination campaigns have been demonstrated to be beneficial over the past 60 years, yellow fever still remains a major concern in tropical regions in both Africa and South America. In countries at risk for yellow fever, vaccination is recommended in order to prevent and fight epidemics. It is also recommended for travelers visiting endemic regions.
30 - Yellow fever vaccine. WHO position paper; WER 2003, 78:349-59: