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Yellow Fever

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US Army First Aid Manual
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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

Yellow Fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease. It is very similar in symptom presentation to influenza, as well as hepatitis. According to the CDC, the disease occurs only in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, where it is endemic.

Yellow Fever symptoms are similar in presentation to influenza, with high fevers, chills, tremors, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting, and generalized joint aches present. After a brief period of recovery, usually only a few days, the illness can progress rather rapidly to hemorrhaging and shock, which can affect the liver, and individuals do subsequently exhibit the classic, telltale yellowing (jaundice) of the skin, hence the name Yellow Fever.

The fatality rate is greater than 20%, with infants, children and the elderly at greatest risk. The risk of illness and death due to Yellow Fever in an unvaccinated traveler is estimated to be 1:1,000, 1:5,000/month. This is based on an approximately 2-week journey. In addition to vaccination, travelers should wear long-sleeved shirts, try not to go out in the early morning or late evening, wear Deet; they can use Permetharin applied to their clothes. Please refer to Prevention of West Nile Virus for more preventative measures. The Yellow Fever vaccine is very safe and effective. The primary dose is .5 ml., and one dose every 10 years is usually advised. When traveling, a number of countries do require a certificate to show that you are vaccinated against Yellow Fever.

Yellow Fever Vaccine Reactions

Reactions, if any, are very mild, and most commonly include mild headaches, muscle aches and low-grade fevers. Some individuals do exhibit a rash, with asthma-like symptoms, although these are very uncommon, and occur most commonly in individuals with a history of egg allergy. The risk of adverse reaction appears to be age-related. Infants less than 6 months of age should not be vaccinated, as they are most susceptible to the severest reactions. It should be noted that the safety of Yellow Fever vaccination during pregnancy has not been established, although according to the CDC, pregnant women who must travel to areas where risk of infection is high should be vaccinated, despite the fact safety has not been established. For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov.




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