Yellow Fever and the power of vaccination

Yesterday in class we discussed Yellow Fever and its signs and symptoms. Fever,  jaundice black vomit,and death. Today in my inbox there was a notification of an outbreak of Yellow Fever in South America. From December of 2016 until March of this year, there were over 1000 cases of Yellow fever with a 33% fatality rate for confirmed cases.

We also discussed the problem that is are NO antiviral medications that exist for helping someone once they start signs and symptoms of Yellow Fever.  There is nothing that will help stop the virus, nothing but supportive care.

But there IS a vaccine that is good, that will PREVENT infection. In the report, they stressed that vaccination is the most important preventative measure. Quoted from the article:

  • Preventive vaccination can be carried out through systematic immunization in childhood or through unique mass campaigns to increase vaccination coverage in risk areas and also through vaccination of those traveling to at-risk areas.
  • The yellow fever vaccine is safe and affordable and provides effective immunity against the disease in the range of 80 to 100 percent of those vaccinated after 10 days and 99 percent immunity after 30 days.
  • A single dose is sufficient to confer immunity and protection for life, without the need for booster doses. Severe side effects are extremely rare.

This just once again shows the power of vaccination and the ability to prevent life threatening disease.

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