Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

yellow fever

noun

Medical Definition of yellow fever

  1. :  an infectious disease of sudden onset that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America and includes acute symptoms (as fever, muscle pain, headache, and nausea) which typically resolve within a few days but are sometimes followed by more serious symptoms (as jaundice, abdominal pain, high fever, hemorrhage, and kidney impairment) which may lead to death Yellow fever is caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus (species Yellow fever virus) transmitted from monkey to human or human to human especially by the yellow-fever mosquito. <Few Americans realize that yellow fever was not always a disease of the faraway tropics. In 1878, an outbreak of yellow fever—the virus carried to the United States in mosquitoes from Africa—killed 20,000 people in the Mississippi Valley.—Mary Roach, The New York Times Book Review, 5 Nov. 2006> <Although mass vaccination campaigns in Africa between the 1940s and 1960s led to the near disappearance of yellow fever, inadequately immunized populations and urbanization set the stage for the disease to reemerge. By the 1990s, there were an estimated 200 000 annual cases, with 30 000 deaths.—Clem Spalding, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 June 2007>—called also





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up yellow fever? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ