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Categories: Infectious Diseases

Yellow fever is an acute infectious disease characterized
by jaundice, hemorrhages, albuminuria (albumin in the urine).

Cause. It is common in the West Indies and epidemic in nearby countries.

It is most common in crowded, dirty, poorly drained portions of sea coast

cities. It is probably caused by a specific organism which is conveyed

from one person to another by mosquitoes and not in clothing, as formerly

eved. One attack usually confers immunity.

Symptoms. Incubation is about three to four days. There may be a

fore-warning period, but the attack is usually sudden, with chills,

headache, backache, rise in fever, and general feverish symptoms,

vomiting, and constipation. Early in this disease the face is flushed,

while the conjunctiva and the mucous membrane lining the eyelids is

congested and slightly jaundiced. Fever is 102 or 103 degrees, and falls

gradually after one to three days. Pulse is slow, and while the

temperature rises, it again falls. The stage of calm follows the fall of

the temperature with increased jaundice and vomiting of dark altered

blood, the "black vomit." Hemorrhages may also occur into the skin or

mucous membranes. Brain symptoms are sometimes severe. Convalescence is

usually gradual. The disease varies from great mildness to extreme

malignancy. Mortality from fifteen to eighty-five per cent.

Treatment. Prevent spread of the infectious mosquitoes; use screens and

netting in infected districts. Careful nursing, food by rectum while

vomiting is frequent. For the hemorrhage opium is given; frequent bathing

will keep down the fever; and for the vomiting cocaine is given and

cracked ice.