What is yellow fever?
Yellow fever is an infection caused by a virus called flavivirus. Yellow fever gets its name from the yellowing of the skin and eyes once the infection attacks the liver.
Yellow fever is a reportable disease in Ontario.
What are the symptoms of yellow fever?
It can take three to six days to start showing symptoms after being exposed to the virus.
At first, symptoms include:
- sudden onset of fever
- joint and muscle pain
- loss of appetite
- abdominal & back pain
- nausea and vomiting,
Most clients recover after this stage.
In severe cases, yellow fever can lead to serious complications such as:
- internal bleeding
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- organ failure
You should see a health care provider if the illness seems to be causing more serious symptoms.
How is yellow fever spread?
Yellow fever is spread through a bite from an infected mosquito. These mosquitos are common in Africa and South America.
This type of mosquito usually bites during the daytime, especially at sunrise and sunset.
How is yellow fever treated?
There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Only supportive care will help relieve the symptoms.
How is yellow fever prevented?
There is a vaccine available that protects against yellow fever.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent, using bed nets and following other mosquito prevention tips. Learn more about insect bite prevention.
If you will be visiting a yellow fever hotspot, talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated.