Warning that South American Yellow Fever Outbreak Could Spread to Texas

We've dealt with bizarre diseases ranging from Ebola to Zika...so why not a little Yellow Fever?

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports an outbreak of the tropical disease in Brazil has Texas immunologists concerned.  They say the warm, wet winter means the disease, which, like Zika is spread by mosquitos, could make its way here.

"The fact now that it has re-emerged in Brazil gives us concern that it could affect the Texas Gulf Coast and Florida, said Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine.  He is one of the country's leading epidemiologists and has taken the lead in the battle against the Zika virus.

Yellow Fever was a scourge in the 18th and 19th Centuries as the Age of Exploration brought the disease from the tropics to Europe and North America. 

 Dr. Hotez says the 'yellow' in Yellow Fever is the biggest concern."It produces severe liver disease, so the reason you turn yellow is because you have jaundice," he said.  "But it also leads to internal bleeding, and can have a high mortality rate."

Yellow Fever is carried by the same breed of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which carries Zika.

The Southern United States had regular Yellow Fever epidemics throughout the 19th Century.  Among the famous people who died from Yellow Fever include author Jack London and orthinologist John James Audubon.

But, unlike Zika, there is a vaccine against Yellow Fever


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