As part of CRID’s mission of saving life through quality research, it is also expedient to raise public awareness on diseases infecting humans while supporting disease control programmes with hands-on research to help them make excellent vector control policies. As part of our public engagement activities, Medical Entomologist Dr. Basile Kamgang granted exclusive and extensive interview to Radio Maria on the programme “Santé et Vie”.
During this media outing, Dr. Basile who is an expert researcher on arboviral diseases sensitised the general public on transmission, prevention, symptoms and treatment of Yellow Fever. Every human from zero to infinity age is susceptible to yellow fever.
Yellow Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic diseases transmited to humans by the bite of an infected mosquitoe especially Aesdes aegyti. Also known as the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti is present on the national territory of Cameroon and bites mainly during the day.
Factors favouring transmission
Human exposure to the mosquito vector particularly when humans come in contact with the forest, low immunization coverage in epidemic risk areas, poor waste management in urban areas which favour vector development.
The Aedes mosquito vector becomes infected during the blood meal in an infected human subject and after an incubation period of approximately 14 days, it becomes infectious and can transmit the virus to a healthy subject when taking another blood meal. It would be interesting to highlight that only female mosquitoes can bite a human.
Signs & symptoms
Once a human is beaten by an infected mosquito, the human will display symptoms such;
- Muscle aches particularly in your back and knees,;
- Sensitivity to light;
- Nausea, vomiting or both;
- Loss of appetite;
- Red eyes, face or tongue
These signs and symptoms usually improve and disappear within several days.
How to Prevent Yellow Fever
To successfully prevent yellow will mean first controlling the vector which transmits this disease. So to keep the Aedes aegyti mosquito at arm’s length, it is necessary to take the following in to consideration:
- Keep environment void of abandoned containers, used tires, tin cans…. Throw away any dish, pot or container which is not been used so as to avoid accumulating water;
- Avoid storing water in containers without lids. If you must store water at home, ensure such a container is well covered so the mosquito won’t have to lay eggs therein. The Aedes mosquito does not like dirty water, so even if water is clean but not covered, the mosquito will lay her eggs inside;
- If you have natural plants in your home, ensure to change the water in the vase at least twice a week;
- Wear clothes that cover your body to avoid bites from this mosquito;
- Get vaccinated against yellow fever virus. Contrary to other arboviral diseases, there exists in Cameroon a vaccine to protect the population against yellow fever.
It is worthy of note, that yellow fever cannot be transmitted through sexual organs, thus, it is not contagious. Symptoms of yellow fever shouldn’t be confused with that of malaria. As such, it is advisable to go to the nearest health centre to get tested once you see any of these symptoms or more manifest.