Yellow Fever Virus (YFV)

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Member of the Flaviviridae family, spherical virions 40-50 nm in diameter, enveloped nucleocapsid, +ssRNA virus.

Growth Conditions

Cell culture.

Health Hazards

Host Range

Humans, monkeys and other primates.

Modes of Transmission

Transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes carrying YFV.

Signs and Symptoms

First phase of symptoms include fever, aches, extreme exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, weak pulse. After 3-4 days symptoms subside. Symptoms reappear as jaundice, blood in vomit and hemorrhagic symptoms.

Infectious Dose


Incubation Period

3-6 days

Medical Precautions/Treatment


None available.

  • Licensed live attenuated vaccine (17D strain) is available.
  • Recommended for lab personnel who might be exposed to virulent YFV or concentrated amounts of the 17D strain by direct and indirect contact.
  • Not recommended for those who are immunosuppressed, taking corticosteroids, are pregnant, or have an egg allergy

None available.


Monitor for febrile illness and test for infection by viral isolation or PCR.

Emory Requirements

Must be vaccinated before working with YFV. Revaccination is required every 10 years.

Laboratory Hazards

Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs)

There have been 40 reported LAIs, 9 resulting in death. Some LAIs have occurred by the aerosol route (unvaccinated lab workers).


Blood, CSF, urine, exudates, aerosols of infectious solutions and bedding, self inoculation, and broken skin.

Supplemental References

Canadian MSDS

Pathogen Safety Data Sheets 


Yellow Fever 


Yellow fever Information 



For all procedures involving potentially infected clinical samples, infected tissue, or culture. HEPA filtration of all exhaust air from the laboratory.


For all procedures involving infected animals or arthropods. HEPA filtration of all exhausts air from the laboratory.

Spill Procedures


Notify others working in the lab. Allow aerosols to settle. Don appropriate PPE. Cover area of the spill with paper towels and apply an appropriate disinfectant, working from the perimeter towards the center. Allow 30 minutes of contact time before disposal and cleanup of spill materials.


Contact Emory's Biosafety Officer (404-727-8863),
the EHSO Office (404-727-5922), or
The Spill Response Team (404-727-2888).

Exposure Procedures

Mucous membrane

Flush eyes, mouth or nose for 15 minutes at eyewash station.

Other Exposures

Wash area with soap and water for 15 minutes.


Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete an employee incident report in PeopleSoft.

Medical Followup 

7am-4pm (OIM): EUH (404-686-7941) EUHM (404-686-7106) WW (404-728-6431)

After Hours: OIM NP On Call 404-686-5500 PIC# 50464

Needle Stick (OIM): EUH (404-686-8587) EUHM (404-686-2352)

Yerkes: Maureen Thompson Office (404-727-8012) Cell (404-275-0963)



Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% gluteraldehyde, 70% ethanol, 3-8% formaldehyde, 2- 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1% iodine, organic solvents and organic detergents.


Inactivated by heat (60°C for 10 minutes), UV and gamma irradiation.

Survival Outside Host

No survival outside the host.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Minimum PPE Requirements

At minimum, personnel are required to don gloves, closed toed shoes, lab coat, and appropriate face and eye protection prior to working with YFV. Additional PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs.

Additional Precautions

Respirators must be worn when cleaning up spills involving YFV. Fit testing and training is required annually per Emory's Respiratory Program (PDF).