|Aedes aegypti, commonly called the yellow fever |
mosquito. (source: Wikipedia)
1) Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease. The virus that causes yellow fever is an arbovirus of the flavivirus genus. Its primary vector is the female mosquito (Aedes and Haemogogus) that carries the virus from one host to another (monkey to monkey, moneky to humans, humans to humans). Why female and not male mosquitoes? Because it's only the females that suck blood. And after a full blood meal, the female will rest while the blood is digested and eggs are developed. Hope you had breakfast already. Males on the other hand feed mostly on nectar or other sugar food sources (how sweet).
2) There is an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year. 30 000 will result in death.
3) Forty-five endemic countries in Africa and Latin America, with a combined population of over 900 million, are at risk. There is no cure for yellow fever, only supportive care to treat dehydration and fever to improve a patients condition, but it is rarely available in poor areas. However, a preventive vaccine does exist.
4) Symptons include: fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. After 3-4 days symptoms may disappear. However, 15% of patients will enter a second, more toxic phase. The fever will return and several body organs will fail and the patient will develop jaundice and vomiting. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. Once this happens, blood appears in the vomit and faeces. Kidney function deteriorates. Half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days, the rest recover without significant organ damage. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/)
5) Unfortunately, this is only one of the many insect borne diseases that we know of. The list is too long to list in this post, but you can go HERE to get an idea.
Sorry this is a rushed post, I'm packing my bags and heading out tomorrow, flying towards the New World... (; I've pre schedueld my Z post...not sure if it'll work, but I guess you'll see Monday.
Have a great weekend, it's been one hell of a ride!