Yellow Fever (jungle yellow fever, urban yellow fever)

Last Reviewed: November 2006

What is yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease. The disease occurs in tropical and subtropical areas.

Who gets yellow fever?

This disease can affect both sexes, all ages and races. Jungle yellow fever, of tropical Central and South America, occurs predominantly among adult males 20 to 40 years old who are exposed in the tropical forests.

How is yellow fever spread?

A certain type of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is most often responsible for transmitting the virus. These mosquitoes are no longer found naturally in New York State.

What are the symptoms of yellow fever?

Initial symptoms may be dengue-like and include fever, headache, vomiting and backache. As the disease progresses, the pulse slows and weakens, and bleeding of the gums and bloody urine occur. Jaundice may also occur.

How soon do symptoms appear?

Symptoms occur within three to six days after exposure.

Does past infection with yellow fever make a person immune?

Yes. People who have had yellow fever develop lifelong immunity.

What is the treatment for yellow fever?

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever. People traveling to areas where yellow fever may exist should be immunized.

How can yellow fever be prevented?

Since transmission of yellow fever no longer occurs within the United States, it is important for travelers to be immunized prior to visiting areas where yellow fever exists.