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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yellow Fever vs Spring Fever

Yellow Fever: A tropical disease spread to humans by infected mosquitoes and found in Africa and South America. It is preventable by immunization, and Delta requires all flight crew members to have such a shot. The shots are not without incident however.

There are two types of yellow fever. Jungle yellow fever, spread to and from infected mosquitoes and monkeys, and is rare and occurs mainly in persons who work in tropical rain forests. Urban yellow fever is the more common, and the disease of humans, spread by mosquitoes that have been infected by other people, and the cause of most yellow fever outbreaks and epidemics.

Aedes aegypti is the type of mosquito that carries yellow fever from human to human, and they have adapted to living among humans in cities, towns, and villages. They breed in discarded tires, flower pots, oil drums, and water storage containers close to human dwellings.

The mosquito is the most dangerous creature in the world. While we view them as an annoying pest, thanks to its ability to spread diseases such as Malaria, Mossies, Elephantiasis, Dengue Fever, Wes Nile virus and yes…Yellow Fever, this little bug is a killer.

What are the signs and symptoms of yellow fever?

Many infections are mild, but the disease can cause severe, life-threatening illness. Symptoms of severe infection are “high fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, and backache,” and “after a brief recovery period, the infection can lead to shock, bleeding, and kidney and liver failure.” Liver failure causes jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, and thus gives the name: yellow fever.

Symptoms begin three to six days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and the disease is diagnosed by a blood test. Make sure when you return from a trip and think you caught the flu... check it out.

During my A330 training I was unable to get my vaccination due to the fact I had bronchitis and the doctors that would give me the shot while sick, and then the very tight schedule prevented it. Monday they injected me. Three hours later I was sitting in my chair with fever, chills, headache, backache, and I won’t mention the other symptoms.

What? I have the symptoms of yellow fever! Okay… so they injected me with the virus, and my immune system was already low… so now I suffer. And the worse part is… they may have to reschedule my OE trip!

I suppose the pros of the vaccination outweigh the cons of this deadly disease, but right now… I am confused, probably due to the brain swelling… another result of yellow fever. Unfortunately the sun is out in Seattle and I should be feeling spring fever, not the yellow fever!

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. Good to know about it...Hope you start to feel better, and thats really too bad about your OE trip...i guess i should be happy that only my arm hurts then lol...

  2. yeah... a sore arm is a good thing. I'm still holding out to go... I have until tomorrow to make that decision. Thanks for the wishes of feeling better.

  3. Haha...eevn if u cant move it ? of luck with ur decision :-) i bet your family is taking great care of you, so your in good hands... :D


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