The name rings a faint bell. We have all heard of Yellow Fever: This is a disease transmitted through mosquito bites.
Yellow Fever is one of those things that we keep in the back of our minds but do not worry about until it is right in front of us. The good news is it is very rare to contract in most places away from rainforests and jungle environments. In most cases, when it is identified, it can be dealt with before things get dangerous.
Yellow Fever is one of those many illnesses that is transmitted through mosquito bites. It has mostly been eradicated, but it still poses a threat to many people today. It is deadly depending on which strain of the Yellow Fever virus you contract.
What Is Yellow Fever?
Yellow Fever is a dangerous disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that mainly terrorizes subtropical areas, like South America, Africa (especially sub-Saharan Africa), and the Caribbean. While rare, occasional cases or small outbreaks can happen in other places around the world.
Recognize the Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Sudden Fever
- Severe Headache
- Muscle pain/ body aches
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea, vomiting, general abdominal pain
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
The symptoms listed above are only initial symptoms, meaning they follow the bite and illness quickly. These symptoms can pass quickly. Although, some of the symptoms, such as fatigue and weakness, can last for months after the treatment stops. However, most of these symptoms disappear within a few days.
If this infection moves onto the next stage, the toxic phase, the danger increases significantly.
A diagnosis of the toxic phase is common with these symptoms:
- High fever
- Liver failure— (jaundice)
- Shock and delirium
- Kidney failure, dark urine
If you or anyone you know has these symptoms, take them to a doctor immediately. These symptoms are indicators of severe Yellow Fever, a disease that can lead to death if untreated.
How Do You Get Yellow Fever?
Yellow Fever is spread mainly by mosquitoes, notably the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It can affect both humans and monkeys. Semi-domestic mosquitoes are most likely to spread this epidemic between people and primates.
Mosquitoes are also involved in transmitting Dengue Fever, Malaria, and the Zika Virus.
As parents, our first concern is our children when it comes to disease control.
Like any other disease spread by mosquitoes, Yellow Fever enters the human body through mosquito saliva.
So, how does this saliva get in your body?
Great question! When mosquitoes bite, they drink our blood and replace it with their nasty saliva.
This saliva contains proteins that often lead to allergic reactions in humans. These minor allergic reactions lead to the red bumps and itchiness that we all associate with mosquito bites. The allergic response also explains why everyone reacts differently to mosquito bites.
What Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?
Once you understand what attracts mosquitoes, it becomes easier to repel them. Consider wearing muted clothing; bright and light colors, as well as floral patterned articles, attract mosquitoes' attention.
Other things that attract mosquitoes include:
- Body Odor
- Floral-Scented Perfumes and Lotions
- Carbon Dioxide
- Specific Blood Types (Mosquitoes are most attracted to type O blood)
- Warm Body Temperatures
Obviously, not everything can be avoided. You cannot change your blood type or stop breathing, nor can you make your kids, but you can take some small, easy steps to protect yourself and those you care about.
Some easy steps you can take include:
- Wear the right clothing. Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing. Go prepared with loose but protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks, and jackets.
- Be intentional about the timing of outdoor activities. Stay inside whenever you can, especially when mosquitoes are out, like when the sun is rising or setting at dusk and dawn.
- Treat your clothes as needed with safe insect repellents before the activity or trip.
- Do not wear any strong perfumes, lotions, or colognes, especially floral-scented ones.
- Apply some effective mosquito repellent.
Staying Safe Has Never Been Easier
How easy is it to walk into a local pharmacy or whatever store you shop from and grab mosquito repellent spray? Ridiculously easy. Stores have entire shelves full of mosquito repellent sprays, bracelets, mosquito traps, mosquito netting, and anything else you can think of.
However, the products we used in our childhood might not be what we want for our children. Case in point: DEET.
DEET is not suitable for your kids. DEET is so dangerous that it can actually melt plastic. So, uh, no thanks. Picaridin is not much better, to be honest.
Since you shouldn’t use repellents with DEET, let’s look at the more natural products. Flowers, grains, and produce have naturally been repelling mosquitoes and other harmful bugs a lot longer than DEET, and other mosquito-repelling chemicals have existed.
To avoid mosquitoes in general, there are plenty of things you can do. The most effective products would be mosquito repellent sprays or mosquito repellent stickers. The most ineffective products include mosquito repellent candles as well as bug zappers and some, but not all, mosquito traps.
Looking for a Natural Mosquito Repellent?
At The Natural Patch Co., we listened to parents' worries and complaints of children to create a mosquito repellent powered by nature.
BuzzPatch is 100% DEET-FREE. It uses essential oils and natural repellents to keep mosquitoes away.
The best part about BuzzPatch? They are stickers! It’s impossible to make our children stay still long enough to get them sprayed the right amount with bug spray. Forget having to watch them carefully while the spray or cream dries to ensure they do not accidentally rub some harmful chemicals in their eyes.
BuzzPatch is fun, bright emoji-covered stickers that stick safely onto clothing, with no fuss and, no muss. Your kids will actually want to wear this protection. And you can too! Adults just have to add an extra sticker or two, and they are set as well.
The Yellow Fever Vaccine
The vaccine for Yellow Fever is no shot in the dark.
This vaccine has been helping us out for roughly eight decades. One single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine can offer life-saving immunity. Very rarely will a booster dose be required. Everyone over nine months should get this vaccine, especially if traveling to tropical or jungle environments that carry an increased risk of Yellow Fever transmission.
If you are preparing to head somewhere that has been known to have Yellow-Fever- carrying-mosquitoes, prepare yourself. Take the necessary steps and precautions so that your family can stay safe, happy, and bite-free.
If you get bitten, either back home or during your traveling adventures, make sure to take good care of the bite. Keep the bite clean and do not scratch. Do your best to prevent future bites as well.
The vaccine is effective and does not have the negative side effects that some vaccines have been found to have. But the best thing you can do for yourself and your kids is to stay away from where the mosquitoes are known to be prominent.
How To Stop the Itch in a Snap
MagicPatch is another creation from our labs at The Natural Patch Co.
This handy patch is an itch relief patch that lasts up to seven days and is completely waterproof! MagicPatch does not use any chemicals. It lifts the biochemicals in saliva to re-allow blood flow, which relieves the itch and allows you some peace of mind.
Remember: mosquitoes carry more than a few diseases, one of which is Yellow Fever. Yellow Fever’s symptoms can be easily confused with that of a cold or the flu, so keep an eye on any bites you or your children have sustained, especially when visiting countries that have mosquitoes that carry Yellow Fever.