Yellow Fever - Yet Another Mosquito-Borne Illness to Watch in Brazil

It is going to be in the mid to upper 80s this week in Ponte Vedra Beach. That means the mosquitoes are out and they are hungry. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is one of Florida’s more aggressive mosquitoes, and it is known for seeking food sources during the daylight hours. This mosquito is also known as the yellow fever mosquito and right now in Brazil, it is living up to its name. According to an article from NPR, there have been 604 confirmed cases of Yellow Fever in Brazil and 200 confirmed deaths.

Does Yellow Fever in Brazil Really Affect the United States?

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health explains to us in this article how illnesses carried by this specific mosquito vector have followed certain patterns over the past years. Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika (each carried by this yellow fever mosquito) all seemed to begin slowly but then suddenly exploded into huge outbreaks over the Western Hemisphere. And then with travel, these outbreaks were able to slip into the United States. So as these cases of Yellow Fever are beginning to pop up, scientists are wondering and possibly assuming it is likely to go the same way. A large outbreak in South America will most definitely lead to cases entering the United States.

What Does Yellow Fever Look Like?

With the possibility of an outbreak on the rise and the yellow fever mosquito a presence here in our part of the world, it’s important that we learn what Yellow Fever looks like and how to deal with it. Initially, Yellow Fever symptoms look like the flu as so many other mosquito and tick-borne illnesses do, if there are symptoms at all that is. Most people that do become symptomatic will recover 100% with possibly some lingering fatigue and weakness. 

However about 15% of cases will become much more severe after the basic chills, headache, body aches, and nausea subside. The second more serious round of symptoms can include high fever, jaundice, and bleeding. Shock and failure of organs is also possible in this more serious state and 20-50% of this group of people could possibly die. There is no specific treatment for Yellow Fever. Rest, fluids, and treatment of symptoms with close observation are the best options for relief. 

There is something out there for Yellow Fever that the other illnesses don’t have though: that’s a Yellow Fever vaccine. A 99% effective vaccine does exist for Yellow Fever so it is important to keep an eye on its growth and spreading. At the moment Dr. Fauci says there if not enough for the entire population of Brazil, much less other parts of the world so it is important to observe and be proactive in the production of this vaccine. 

Preventing Yellow Fever

When we talk about the diseases mosquitoes can carry, Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, Yellow Fever, we always say the same thing – prevention, prevention, prevention. The best way not to spread Yellow Fever is not to contract Yellow Fever. When traveling continue to check the CDC’s travel recommendations. Dress appropriately for areas thick with mosquitoes and use bug repellent containing DEET when outdoors.

Prevention on the homefront can include keeping humans from spreading Yellow Fever to other mosquitoes if it makes it this far. Follow the Ts of mosquito control and don’t allow your yard to become a breeding ground. We at Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra would like to assist by eliminating up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property with our highly effective mosquito barrier treatment. Call us today at (904) 844-0816 and don’t forget about our automatic misting systems and our event mist capabilities. We have everything you need to stay protected from mosquitoes.