Yellow fever

Definition

noun

(pathology) An acute viral disease caused by yellow fever virus that is spread by a bite of an infected mosquito (e.g. Aedes aegypti), and the severe type of this disease is characterized primarily by jaundice, black vomit, and liver damage


Supplement

Yellow fever is an acute febrile illness caused by yellow fever virus, a flavivirus. It is transmitted by a bite of an infected mosquito, especially Aedes aegypti. The virus replicates in the lymph node where it infects the dendritic cells.

The incubation period is often between the period of three and six days. The common symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, weariness, nausea, and jaundice. If the disease is not severe, the symptoms and the infection would last only three to four days. However, if it is the severe-type, the fever would come back accompanied by abdominal pain and liver damage. The liver damage is caused by the viruses reaching the liver and infecting the hepatocytes. The high fever and the severe yellowing of the skin (jaundice) due to liver damage accounts for the name of this condition. This could also lead to an increased risk to haemorrhage and kidney problem. This toxic phase of the disease occurs in about 15% of cases. It is also potentially lethal.

The disease is formerly called black vomit. It is because bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract may result in a vomit containing blood.

The disease is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Africa.


See also:

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