Published On: Sat, Feb 16th, 2013

Yellow fever death reported in in Cochabamba, Bolivia

A person from the city of Oruro, contracted and died from yellow fever in the tropical regions of Cochabamba, Bolivia, being the first such fatality from the mosquito borne viral disease, according to a La Razon report Feb. 14 (machine translated).

This has prompted health authorities to urge people to get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to travel to tropical areas.

In addition, they remind the public that the yellow fever vaccine is free.

A moderator with ProMed Mail notes:

Yellow fever virus is endemic in the Amazon Basin of the South American tropics. This is undoubtedly a case of sylvan (jungle) yellow fever, where the virus infects wild primates and is transmitted to people by forest mosquitoes. It is critical that individuals in these areas be vaccinated against yellow fever virus infections, to not only protect themselves, but to prevent introduction of the virus into the urban cycle where significant numbers of cases, with a high (30 per cent) case fatality may occur.

The report also says that dengue fever, another mosquito borne disease is present in the area where there are currently nine cases and over 120 suspected cases.

mosquito photo


Yellow fever is found in 33 countries in Africa and 9 in South America and the Caribbean islands.

There are three transmission cycles to yellow fever:

• Jungle cycle- This cycle involves the mosquitoes Aedes and Haemagogus and primates. This transmission is restricted to tropical areas of Africa and South America. A few hundred cases occur annually; mostly among young males working in forested areas.

• Intermediate cycle- This cycle occurs in savannah regions of Africa and involves humans and the Aedes mosquito.

• Urban cycle- This involves humans and the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This is the cycle where human epidemics occur.

After getting bit by an infected mosquito, the incubation time is 3-6 days. It is typically of short duration and various severities.

Mild cases are characterized by sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, backache, muscle pain and nausea and vomiting. This stage lasts about 48 hours. Most infections resolve at this stage.

About 15% of the time the disease may progress to a severe hemorrhagic fever. There is a “period of calm” of a few hours to a day.

This stage of the disease is characterized by jaundice and hemorrhagic symptoms like bleeding out the nose, gingival bleeding, and vomiting blood (may be black and look like coffee grounds).

Abnormalities in clotting factors and liver enzymes may be the result of kidney and liver failure.

Yellow fever can be laboratory diagnosed by growing the virus in cell culture, by demonstrating viral antigens, and by molecular methods like PCR.

There is no treatment for yellow fever itself, just treating the symptoms.

Yellow fever can be prevented by vaccination.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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