Yellow Fever

Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor will ask questions about a number of things (including recent medical and travel history), perform a physical exam, and recommend certain tests. As part of diagnosing a yellow fever virus infection, the doctor will also rule out other, more common causes of symptoms, such as the flu or common cold.
Tests the doctor may order to help diagnose the disease can include:
  • Blood tests
  • Cerebrospinal fluid tests
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG).
These individual tests will not definitely diagnose yellow fever, but they can be helpful. To make a definitive diagnosis, the doctor will draw a blood sample and send it to a commercial or public health laboratory for confirmation.
(Click Yellow Fever Diagnosis for more information on this topic.)

How Is It Treated?

There is currently no treatment that can kill the virus. Therefore, treatment is focused on providing relief of symptoms as the body fights the virus.
(Click Yellow Fever Treatment for more information on supportive treatment.)


Most people recover without any long-term effects from the yellow fever infection. The overall death rate is estimated to be between 5 and 10 percent; however, research scientists and doctors believe that the death rate might even be less. In a number of cases, the infection causes no symptoms, or very mild symptoms, and people do not seek medical attention.

Information on Yellow Fever

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