10 things you need to know about yellow fever

A hospital ward with patients
Patients in a hospital ward used to illustrate the story

In the last three months, over 40 Nigerians have died from yellow fever outbreak in parts of the country.

Yellow Fever is caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites. The disease is vaccine-preventable and is not contagious and can only be spread through bites from mosquitoes carrying the virus.

Here are some facts you need to know about the disease:

1. Vaccination is the best preventive measure against the deadly disease.

2. The disease is treatable if diagnosed early.

3. Symptoms take three to six days to develop and they include fever, chills, headache, backache and muscle aches.

4. About 15 per cent of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death.

5. Vaccines are advisable for people within six months to 49 years. If you are above 60, you might want to consult a medical expert before taking the vaccine.

6. The US Center for Disease Control said in rare cases, the yellow fever vaccine can have serious and sometimes fatal side effects. People older than 60 years and people with weakened immune systems might be at higher risk of developing these side effects. Also, there are special concerns for pregnant and nursing women. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get the vaccine.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt confirms outbreak of yellow fever in two states

7. In cases where vaccination is not available, prevention can be achieved through mosquitoes repellent

8. Vaccination is compulsory for those travelling to Africa and some parts of South America.

9. People travelling to yellow fever risk countries are advised to receive the vaccine within 10 days of the trip so as to develop the immunity to protect them against the disease.

10. 99 per cent of people who take the vaccines are protected within one month of vaccination and this appears to be life-long

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