yellow fever


Definition of yellow fever

: an acute infectious disease that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America, is marked by symptoms (such as fever, muscle pain, and headache) of sudden onset which typically resolve within a few days but are sometimes followed by more serious symptoms (such as jaundice, high fever, and hemorrhage), and is caused by a flavivirus (species Yellow fever virus of the genus Flavivirus) transmitted especially by the yellow-fever mosquito

Examples of yellow fever in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flooding and a related outbreak of yellow fever contributed to the General Assembly’s decision in 1825 to move the capital to Tuscaloosa. Mike Cason |, al, "Alabama Bicentennial: 200 years of political scandals and scrapes," 4 Dec. 2019 Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, the same insect responsible for spreading Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. Helen Regan, CNN, "How climate crisis is accelerating the global spread of deadly dengue fever," 18 Sep. 2019 Missourians will have to be more vigilant about their health as the bugs could spread tropical viruses like Zika, dengue, and yellow fever around the warming Midwest. Allegra Kirkland, Quartz, "What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100," 18 Oct. 2019 Some can be downright dangerous, transmitting viruses (yellow fever, encephalitis, dengue fever, West Nile disease), bacteria (Lyme disease, typhus) or parasites (malaria, sleeping sickness). Washington Post, "Some common garden plants might help keep bugs away," 6 Aug. 2019 The most common of the trio, Aedes aegypti, is popularly known as the yellow fever mosquito. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In San Diego, new mosquito breeds take a bite out of summer," 3 Sep. 2019 The most common of the trio, Aedes aegypti, is popularly known as the yellow fever mosquito. Peter Rowe, Los Angeles Times, "Newly arrived mosquito breeds take a bite out of summer in San Diego," 3 Sep. 2019 Brazil’s Health Ministry said Thursday, April 12, 2018, that its yellow fever vaccination campaign is significantly short of its goal and that 10 million people still need to be immunized. Washington Post, "Brazil yellow fever vaccination campaign far short of goal," 13 Apr. 2018 Mosquitoes can also carry malaria, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever, although none of these were in the state’s most recent report. Richard Tribou,, "Florida mosquito watch shows more cases of West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis," 21 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yellow fever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of yellow fever

1738, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of yellow fever was in 1738

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Yellow fever.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for yellow fever

yellow fever


English Language Learners Definition of yellow fever

medical : a serious disease that causes fever and often yellowing of the skin and that is passed from one person to another especially by the bite of mosquitoes

yellow fever


Kids Definition of yellow fever

: a disease carried by mosquitoes in parts of Africa and South America

yellow fever


Medical Definition of yellow fever

: 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

Note: 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 yellow jack

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Spanish Central: Translation of yellow fever

Nglish: Translation of yellow fever for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about yellow fever

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