What Can I Give My 5 Year Old For Nausea Panic Grips City – Can a Yellow Fever Vaccination Save You?

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Panic Grips City – Can a Yellow Fever Vaccination Save You?

October 1793. Philadelphia, PA was a city under siege, gripped by panic and fear. The hot, humid summer gave way to early fall, and disease gripped The City Of Brotherly Love. It started with fever and chills, headaches and nausea. In the advanced stages, victims developed a yellow, jaundiced appearance as their kidneys failed. This gave the disease its name – yellow fever. If vaccination had existed at that time, many lives would have been saved.

People were dying in droves. George Washington and his cabinet fled Philadelphia in early September in fear of the plague. He promised to return, but never got closer than the suburb of Germantown. In fact, most of the rich and wealthy fled the city, leaving behind only the poor and powerless.

Yellow fever is an acute viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. In the fall of 1793, a yellow fever epidemic killed nearly ten percent of Philadelphia’s population in one month.

Nine years later, a similar yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans left an indelible mark on American history. The great majority of Napoleon’s army was destroyed and he was forced to sell his claims in the southern United States at bargain basement prices. This sale, known as the Louisiana Purchase, doubled the size of the country’s land at the time.

Outbreaks are not occurring in the United States today, but they are in other parts of the world. In May 2010, an outbreak in Rio Grande do Sul state at the southern tip of Brazil sickened dozens of people and killed nine.

Fortunately, a safe, simple vaccine can prevent the disease. The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccination for people who travel to or live in areas of South America and Africa where the infection is reported.

Vaccination against yellow fever is done once and booster doses are given once every 10 years. You should be vaccinated against yellow fever at least ten days before your trip. There are very few reported side effects of the vaccination, although individuals who are severely allergic to egg proteins may need skin tests to determine whether the yellow fever vaccine can be safely administered. A few people have reported headache, muscle ache, low-grade fever and/or soreness at the injection site after vaccination. Injection site reactions occur within one to five days after immunization. Serious allergic reactions (shortness of breath, swelling of the lips or tongue, etc.) are extremely rare (one in 130,000).

In addition to vaccinations, travelers should use common sense when traveling to any area where mosquito and other insect bites are a danger: wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and don’t forget bug spray!

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