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Yellow Fever

Essay by   •  February 20, 2012  •  Essay  •  887 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,286 Views

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In the early 1800s yellow fever epidemics were seen in America, Africa, South America, and Europe as well as other places. Thousands and thousands of people died during the epidemics. Serious outbreaks kept arising in the 1800s and into the early 1900s. In the beginning it was not known what caused yellow fever so it was hard to fight. It was not until the late 1800s that a man named Walter Reed proved that mosquitos were the transmitters. Now yellow fever is mostly just seen in Africa and South America. Deaths are still reported every year. Yellow fever is a virus that is very dangerous but can be prevented.

Yellow fever is a mosquito borne disease. It is a virus that belongs to the Flavivirus group. The virus can be transmitted by several different types of female mosquitos. A female mosquito can bite an infected human or animal and then bite a healthy person or animal and the disease is transmitted. The disease can quickly multiply in the mosquito's body making every bite potentially deadly. Mosquitos also pass the disease on when they breed. Yellow fever attacks the liver, digestive system, and the kidney. Yellow fever gets its name because it causes jaundice, yellowing of the eyes or skin, and a high fever.

The fact that there is no cure for yellow fever, the ease of spreading and the fast progression of yellow fever makes this a very dangerous disease. To this date there is no known cure for yellow fever. Symptoms can be treated but there is no antibiotic to kill the virus. Once a person is diagnosed with yellow fever doctors can only monitor the symptoms. Another reason yellow fever is dangerous is because mosquitos are numerous and can easily multiply. Mosquitos that have yellow fever are highly adaptable to their environment. Mosquitos live and breed in fresh water containers such as buckets and barrels found in most backyards everywhere. Also mosquitos can survive in cooler temperatures. As the mosquitos breed they pass on the virus to their babies and they too spread the virus. Yellow fever is dangerous because if an infected mosquito bites a person they don't see the symptoms right away, so the virus is not easily identified. The symptoms start with a high fever, slow heartbeat and fatigue which can be symptoms of many things. Some people experience headaches, nausea and muscle pains. The infected person might not even know they have yellow fever. Symptoms stop for a bit and most are fine but for some it is just the beginning. The symptoms start to appear again but now with the second phase they become more serious. Jaundice appears in the second stage, where the skin or eyes turn yellow. As the disease progresses it can make people bleed from the mouth, eyes, and ears. Those who get to the second stage are in real danger since there is no cure and the symptoms become more severe. Death sometimes follows those whose enter the second phase. Usually those who die from yellow fever die within 6 to 9 days from

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