WiRED International Launches Yellow Fever Module amid Outbreak in Africa


The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for an emergency-driven campaign to vaccinate people in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda in response to yellow fever outbreaks in Africa.


WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, M.D., visited Angola, where the current eruption of yellow fever began. Dr. Chan said, “This is the most serious outbreak of yellow fever that Angola has faced in 30 years.”


In its mission to provide communities with free medical and health information, WiRED International just released a Yellow Fever module into its Health Learning Center library.


Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease, and, like Zika, it is transmitted to humans by infected Aedes mosquitoes. Yellow fever occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and the Americas. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. (Jaundice causes the skin and other body tissues to turn yellow.) The illness ranges in severity from a fever to severe liver disease with bleeding. Yellow fever can result in death.


WiRED’s Yellow Fever module includes the infection’s description, transmission, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, laboratory evaluation and treatment, as well as technical guidelines for health professionals. As always, WiRED stresses prevention, which, in this case, includes vaccination, wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and mosquito vector control.


In the current outbreak, health professionals have already distributed 18 million vaccines to people in the three affected African countries. The yellow fever vaccine costs about $1 a dose, and one shot usually gives lifetime protection. Immunization of the local populations also protects against the danger that unvaccinated travelers could spread the disease further.


WiRED will continue to monitor yellow fever and provide updates as needed.