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Infectious Diseases and One Health

Yellow Fever is a dangerous disease but vaccination can keep you safe

Yellow Fever is a dangerous disease. How can you stay protected?

Yellow Fever is a very dangerous disease that is potentially deadly.

Currently, Yellow Fever has no cure. The symptoms of Yellow Fever includes fever, body pains, vomiting bleeding from various parts of the body including ear, nose etc.

It also causes yellowness of the eyes and the skin, medically referred to as jaundice.

In fact, the “yellow” in Yellow Fever is because of the characteristic yellowness of the eyes.

Prevention

Yellow Fever can be prevented with Yellow Fever vaccine, which is safe and effective. A single dose of the vaccine is protective for life, according to the World Health Organization.

Other means of protection includes avoiding mosquito bites through vector control by eliminating potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.

This may involve spraying of larvicides into containers holding water to destroy the larvae of Aedes agypti, the mosquito that transmits Yellow Fever.

Also, preparing and responding promptly to outbreaks of Yellow Fever is another important way to prevent spread of the disease.

How can you be protected?

Yellow Fever is common in Africa and can spread easily in areas where people are not immune to the disease.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to get vaccinated. In many African countries, Yellow Fever vaccine is part of the routine vaccine that children take before they turn 1, typically at 9 months of age.

For other age groups, mass vaccination campaigns are periodically undertaken. Such may be reactive – in response to an outbreak. At other times, it could be preventive just to boost the herd immunity of the population. Herd immunity is the collective ability of the population to ward off a disease.

Those outside the vaccination range and who had not been vaccinated before could also take advantage of the traveling requirement by some countries for Yellow Fever vaccination.

It is important to remember that Yellow Fever vaccine is safe and effective; vaccination against Yellow Fever is the most potent way to prevent the disease.

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