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Yellow Fever

Overview – Yellow fever is a deadly viral infection that was common. Since the addition of its vaccine to our routine national immunisation programme, it is now a rare disease.

Causes/Risk Factors

Yellow fever is caused by a virus that is carried by mosquitoes. If a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms usually develop 3 -6 days later. Anyone can get the disease, but elderly people have a higher risk of severe infection.


Yellow fever has three stages:

  •  Stage 1 (infection): Headache, muscle and joint aches, fever, flushing, loss of appetite, vomiting and jaundice are common. The symptoms often go away briefly after about 3 – 4 days.
  •  Stage 2 (remission): Fever and other symptoms go away. Most people will recover at this stage, but others may get worse within 24 hours.
  •  Stage 3 (intoxication): Problems with many organs occur causing symptoms like: irregular heart beats, bleeding, coma, decreased urination, delirium, fever, yellow skin and eyes headaches, muscle aches, red eyes, red tongue, red face, seizures, vomiting blood, etcDiagnosis

    Your doctor will listen to your medical history and examine you. Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis.


    There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. Treatment for symptoms can include:

  •  Intravenous fluids
  •  Drugs for relief of the symptoms
  •  Blood products for severe bleeding
  •  Dialysis for kidney failure

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