Medical Terms

yellow fever

A virus transmitted by mosquitoes. It is a viral, often fatal, disease that causes vomiting and jaundice, and destroys the liver. Sailors called it 'yellow jack' while Mexicans called it 'vomito' … a very apt name. Someone with yellow fever will have red eyes, yellow skin and cough and retch often; and their vomit may be black.

Today, yellow fever still exists in less developed areas where mosquito control is not well established or consistent (i.e., areas of Africa and South America).