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Yellow Fever Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Mary T Busowski, MD; Chief Editor: Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA  more...
 
Updated: Jun 26, 2015
 
 

Diagnostic Considerations

Based on its clinical presentation, yellow fever may be mistaken for other infectious diseases present in tropical regions; however, failure to consider this illness in a febrile traveler could have a grave outcome. Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of yellow fever include the following:

  • Hemorrhagic fevers (dengue hemorrhagic, Rift Valley, Venezuelan, Bolivian, Argentine, Lassa, Crimean-Congo, Marburg, and Ebola fevers)
  • Hepatitis E
  • Arenavirus infection: Lassa fever, South American viral hemorrhagic fevers
  • Bunyavirus infection: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
  • Ebola virus infection
  • Louse-borne relapsing fever
  • Other flaviviruses, such as West Nile virus
  • Sepsis/multiorgan system dysfunction
  • Viral encephalitides, such as Japanese encephalitis
  • Liver failure (other causes)
  • Toxic hepatitis
  • Toxin-mediated hepatitis
  • Other viral hemorrhagic fevers
  • Other flaviviruses

Differential Diagnoses

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Mary T Busowski, MD Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Orlando VA Medical Center; Infectious Disease Faculty Practice/Internal Medicine Faculty Practice, Orlando Health; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Mary T Busowski, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA Clinical Professor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International AIDS Society, Florida Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Janelle L Robertson, MD Staff Physician, Department of Infectious Diseases, Wilford Hall Medical Center

Janelle L Robertson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA Clinical Professor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, International AIDS Society, Florida Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Joseph U Becker, MD Fellow, Global Health and International Emergency Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Joseph U Becker, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Medicine Residents Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Richard B Brown, MD, FACP Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Baystate Medical Center; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

Richard B Brown, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Massachusetts Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Dan Danzl, MD Chair, Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Louisville Hospital

Dan Danzl, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, Kentucky Medical Association, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and Wilderness Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Aleksandr Gleyzer, MD, FAAEM Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kings County Medical Center and Brooklyn Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Aleksandr Gleyzer, MD, FAAEM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine and International Society of Travel Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Thomas E Herchline, MD Professor of Medicine, Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine; Medical Director, Public Health, Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio

Thomas E Herchline, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Infectious Diseases Society of Ohio

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Emily Nichols, MD Clinical Assistant Instructor, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Kings County Hospital Center

Emily Nichols, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Medicine Residents Association, and National Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Mark L Plaster, MD, JD Executive Editor, Emergency Physicians Monthly

Mark L Plaster, MD, JD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians

Disclosure: M L Plaster Publishing Co LLC Ownership interest Management position

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA Clinical Professor of Medicine, Florida State University College of Medicine; Head of Infectious Disease Fellowship Program, Orlando Regional Medical Center

Mark R Wallace, MD, FACP, FIDSA is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and Infectious Diseases Society of America

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Yellow fever virus. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown after landing on a human host. The A aegypti mosquito is a known transmitter of dengue fever and yellow fever. A aegypti is sometimes referred to as the yellow fever mosquito. The viruses are transferred to the host when he or she has been bitten by a female mosquito. Image courtesy of the CDC/World Health Organization (WHO).
Global distribution of yellow fever. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Transmission cycles of yellow fever in Africa and South America. Adapted from Annu Rev Entomol. 2007. 52:209-29.
 
 
 
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