This article contains general advice only and is not a substitute for medical advice.  Always seek a professional health care opinion.


Yellow fever is a viral disease spread by mosquitos. The name derives from a symptom that occurs in serious cases where the skin turns yellow in colour, also known as jaundice. The disease attacks the liver, can lead to serious illness and even death.

Where does it occur?

The mosquitos that spread yellow fever are mainly native to Africa, Central and South America. Approximately 200,000 cases of yellow fever occur annually and of these cases, there are 30,000 deaths.

What are the symptoms of yellow fever?

Mild stage one symptoms appear up to 6 days after infection:

  • fever

  • muscle ache

  • vomiting

  • headaches

  • weakness

Toxic stage two symptoms occur in up to 25% of yellow fever sufferers and include:

  • visible bleeding

  • jaundice of the skin and eyes

  • kidney and liver failure

  • death 

Of those yellow fever victims who reach stage two, half will die within 10 – 14 days.

What causes yellow fever?

Yellow fever is a virus transmitted between monkeys and humans by two mosquito species–Aedes and Haemagogus in urban areas and tropical rainforests.

How do you prevent yellow fever?

  1. Get a yellow fever vaccination
    The yellow fever vaccination is almost 100% effective. Before travelling to affected areas, get a yellow fever vaccination at your local doctors surgery.

  2. Use home insect repellents
    Keep mosquitoes away with insect repellents such as Mosquito Lantern outdoors and Naturgard Fly & Mosquito Killer Odourless indoors.

  3. Avoid mosquito bites 

    • Apply insect repellent throughout the day

    • Wear loose-fitting clothing with good skin coverage

    • Wear socks

    • Do not wear perfume or aftershave

Travelling to yellow fever areas

Some countries can quarantine your entry if you have recently stayed overnight in a yellow fever declared country and cannot show a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

How do you treat yellow fever?

Yellow fever has no cure and any treatment given is to alleviate the symptoms.


Disclaimer: Mortein does not make any warranty that by using these products you will not contract the diseases referred to in this site. Use Mortein as part of a complete preventative plan and please still take caution. Seek a medical professional for further advice in regards to the above, especially if visiting prone areas.