Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever. And the cause of yellow fever is a virus – called the yellow fever virus. Yellow fever is spread by certain mosquitoes – the Haemagogus mosquito and the Aedes mosquito.
These mosquitoes get infected when they bite infected persons or monkeys and are able to spread the virus to uninfected persons or monkeys through their bite as well.
Certain factors play a role in increasing the chances of getting infected with the yellow fever virus. It is important to know these factors, as the knowledge equips you – so that you can take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of being infected.
These factors increase risk of infection with the yellow fever virus:
- People who have not been vaccinated for yellow fever, and so have little or no immunity against it.
- People who travel to areas where yellow fever is endemic.
- Individuals that live in yellow fever-endemic areas.
- Persons in areas where there are high numbers of mosquitoes.
- Those who live or work in forests/jungles.
- Individuals who have diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc – because these diseases reduce the body’s immunity.
- Those who are on medication that depresses their body’s immunity.
- Duration of exposure to the infected mosquitoes.
- Rate of transmission of the yellow fever virus in that area.
- The season during which a traveller visits an area where yellow fever infection occurs commonly.
Knowing these factors, as well as the ways through which the yellow fever spreads, is essential because it enables effective steps to be taken in preventing the disease. And yellow fever prevention is especially important because in treating yellow fever, there is no particular drug that can cure it.