Overview

Yellow fever is a viral infection spread by a particular type of mosquito. The infection is most common in areas of Africa and South America, affecting travelers to and residents of those areas.

In mild cases, yellow fever causes a fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. But yellow fever can become more serious, causing heart, liver and kidney problems along with bleeding (hemorrhaging). Up to 50 percent of people with the more-severe form of yellow fever die of the disease.

There's no specific treatment for yellow fever. But getting a yellow fever vaccine before traveling to an area in which the virus is known to exist can protect you from the disease.