An outbreak of the mosquito borne viral disease, yellow fever, has killed three people to date in the West Gonga District of northern Ghana in West Africa, according to local media reports.

Map of Ghana/CIA

The outbreak that started several weeks ago, prompted health officials to issue a health alert and has affected at least of dozen people. Health officials now say the outbreak is under control.

Ghana Public Relations Officer, Tony Goodman said, “We have dispatched officers from the national and the regional level to the various districts to be able to contain the disease. The disease has been contained for about some ten days now we have not recorded any new case.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

The majority of persons infected with yellow fever virus have no illness or only mild illness. In persons who develop symptoms, the incubation period (time from infection until illness) is typically 3–6 days. The initial symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, severe headache, back pain, general body aches, nausea, and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Most persons improve after the initial presentation.

After a brief remission of hours to a day, roughly 15% of cases progress to develop a more severe form of the disease. The severe form is characterized by high fever, jaundice, bleeding, and eventually shock and failure of multiple organs.

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated.