Yellow fever is a viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes and is most common in parts of Africa and South America, notes Mayo Clinic. There is no specific treatment regimen for yellow fever, as of 2015; however, people can protect themselves against the disease by getting vaccinated before visiting places where it is known to occur.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito carries the virus that causes yellow fever, spreading it to monkeys and humans through bites, states Mayo Clinic. These mosquitoes can breed in clean water and tend to thrive in or near places populated with humans. Older adults are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from yellow fever, though the disease can strike anyone, particularly those who have not received the vaccine. People do not experience symptoms of yellow fever for between three and six days after exposure, then may suffer from problems such as muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, fever and loss of appetite.
Though most people experience the symptoms of yellow fever for short periods, others may enter the toxic phase of the disease and suffer more serious symptoms, such as jaundice; bleeding from the nose, mouth and eyes; and decreased urination, notes Mayo Clinic. The most severe cases of yellow fever can lead to liver and kidney failure or to brain dysfunction that leads to delirium, seizures and comas that may result in death.