MOSQUITO AFFLICTIONS

This Mosquito Afflictions series breaks down some of the most common dangerous diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitos.

PART 3 – YELLOW FEVER

** PLEASE NOTE: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor and/or medical treatment if necessary**

The yellow fever virus infects only humans, other primates, and several types of mosquitoes.

The virus is spread by the bite of an infected female mosquito.

Once infected, both people and primates can pass on the infection to mosquito’s shorty prior to becoming symptomatic and for roughly 5 days after. While there is no cure, a highly effective vaccine is available that can offer life-long protection in a single, affordable dose.

Symptoms:

Most people that are infected will either have mild symptoms or no symptoms whatsoever, leading to a full recovery. There is generally an incubation period of 3 – 6 days after which the following symptoms can develop:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache or body aches
  • Back pain
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Weak Limbs/Fatigue

Typically, these minor symptoms will disappear within about a week, although fatigue can persist for several months.

About 15% of cases can become severe after a remission period lasting roughly a day prior to developing the following severe symptoms.

  • High fever
  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin)
  • Bleeding
  • Shock
  • Organ failure

Severe cases have a high fatality rate with between 30-60% of those infected succumbing to the disease. Diagnosis is achieved through laboratory testing and, often, an examination of the patient’s travel history.

Prevention:

  • Getting vaccinated when entering areas in which yellow fever is endemic.
  • Avoiding mosquito bites in these areas by using mosquito nets and insect repellent when outdoors.
  • Wear Long-sleeved clothing, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes can also bite through clothing so spray your clothing with repellent as well.
  • The application of larvicides to water-storage containers can help eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites.
  • The peak biting times for many mosquito species are dusk to dawn. However, A. aegypti, one of the mosquitoes that transmits yellow fever virus, feeds during the daytime.
  • Staying in accommodations with screened or air-conditioned rooms, particularly during peak biting times, also reduces the risk of mosquito bites.

Treatments:

There is currently is no cure or treatment for Yellow Fever. However, vaccination is effective and highly recommended for travellers to avoid the risk of contracting the virus.

When the diagnosis has been confirmed, doctors will recommend rest, drinking fluids and taking medications to reduce your fever and aches/pains.

It is important for patients to follow their doctor’s specific recommendations on what drugs they should and should not take for these symptoms as some can cause complications with Yellow Fever virus and your medical professional will know which drugs will be best for you and your symptoms.

In some very severe cases, your doctor may recommend hospitalization for supportive care and monitoring, which can greatly improve chances of survival.

If you believe you may have contracted Yellow Fever virus, it is extremely important to try to avoid any risk of being bitten by another mosquito for up to five days following the onset of symptoms.

This is when you are shedding the virus and have the potential to pass it on to someone else. Due to the inability to cure Yellow Fever and the potential fatality of the disease, by avoiding other mosquitos you could be saving multiple lives.

Sydney’s Best Pest Control have a highly trained and experienced team which is here to provide you with year-round protection against a variety of pests. To schedule your next pest control, call us on 1300 760 045 or email us using our easy contact us form.

Further Reading

Mosquitoes 101

5 Myths about mosquito bites

Are you a mosquito magnet?

Treating a bug bite naturally and effectively

Is your home a mosquito sanctuary?

What pests to expect in spring