Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, half of the patients who contract the disease can get severe symptoms and some die within 7-10 days. The virus is endemic to tropical areas of Africa, central and south America.
A single dose of yellow fever is sufficient to sustain life long protection against the disease and immunity to protect one against the disease. Large epidemics of yellow fever occur when infected people introduce the virus into heavily populated areas with high mosquito density.
Yellow fever vaccination
Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travellers from 1-year-old and above if planning to visit Uganda and this is because the principle mosquito vector Aedes Aegyptus is present in the country making it a yellow fever endemic zone.
You will not be allowed to enter the country without having been vaccinated against yellow fever, unless you show a waiver stating the medical reasons for not being vaccinated. The vaccine provides effective immunity for people vaccinated within ten days and within 90 days for a lesser percentage the reason you need to get vaccinated earlier before traveling.
Signs and symptoms of yellow fever
If contracted, the virus incubates in the body within 3-6 days and the sick person’s experience symptoms like prominent backache, muscle pain, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting. These symptoms can disappear within 3 to 4 days.
The second phase can be entered by most people within 24 hours after recovering from the first symptoms, this affected the kidneys and liver leading to high fever causing them to develop jaundice that is the yellowing of the eyes and the skin hence the name yellow fever, vomiting and abdominal pain, bleeding from most body openings and most patients who enter the second phase die within 7 to 10 days.
Immediate and supportive treatment can increase survival rates, currently there is no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever but specific care to treat liver and kidney failure, dehydration and fever improve outcomes. Antibiotics can also treat associated bacterial infections.
In conclusion prevention of the disease is better than cure for most travellers to Uganda and those going out of the country to yellow fever endemic countries, the vaccine is only exceptional to pregnant women, children under 9 months, people with severe immunodeficiency due to symptomatic HIV/AIDS or other causes, people with thymus disorder and people with severe allergies to egg protein.
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