Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes found in tropical Africa and Central and South America.

Overview

Yellow fever is a viral infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes found in tropical Africa and Central and South America. An asymptomatic or mild progression with flu-like symptoms is normal. However, a second disease phase with a high mortality rate can occur, during which patients suffer from severe bleeding. Vaccination is recommended and is sometimes compulsory for travellers to the tropics.

Symptoms

  • Incubation period: 3-6 days
Mild progression

Asymptomatic or mild progression is normal

Severe progression

Second, toxic phase after a short period of recovery (approx. 15% of infections)

  • Fever rises again and organ damage occurs
  • So-called haemorrhagic fever: coagulation disorders
    • Severe internal bleeding
    • Nosebleeds
    • Vomiting of blood (sometimes black)
    • Blood in stools
    • Bleeding from skin and mucous membranes
  • Liver damage: yellow skin (_yellow_fever)
  • Death is caused by multiple organ failure (in approx. 20% of cases)

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Pathogen:
    • Yellow fever virus (family of flaviviruses: Zika, dengue fever, TBE virus)
    • Where found: tropics, so-called “yellow fever belt” (Africa, Central and South America)
  • Transmission
    • Bite by infected tiger mosquito (yellow fever mosquito)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test (search for pathogen)
Possible therapies
  • No way to treat the causes
  • Treatment of symptoms
    • Painkillers and fever-reducing medication
  • Hospitalisation in intensive care unit may be needed

What can I do myself?

  • Travel preparations
  • Yellow fever vaccination
    • Approved vaccination centres according to FOPH list
    • At least 10 days before departure
    • Vaccination is compulsory for entry to some countries
    • Vaccine provides lifelong protection
  • Mosquito protection
    • Light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing
    • Mosquito net
    • Suitable and tested insect repellent
    • Don't go outside at dusk or at night

When to see a doctor?

Further information

Federal Office of Public Health, FOPH (Bundesamt für Gesundheit, BAG)
https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home.html

Ostschweizer Infostelle für Reisemedizin (Eastern Switzerland Information Centre for Travel Medicine)
www.osir.ch

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Schweizerisches Tropen- und Public Health-Institut)
www.swisstph.ch

FDFA (travel links)
www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en

Synonyms

yellow fever, YF, yellow plague, yellow jack, bronze john, Siamese illness

Health insurance premiums at a glance

Calculate premium

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

CSS Insurance – your health partner

Being healthy, getting well or living with illness: as your health partner, CSS Insurance is by your side on your journey through life.

Well looked