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Rare Case of Fatal Yellow Fever Vaccine-associated Viscerotropic Disease

CPT Gregg Gerasimon, MD, MC, USA, MAJ Kristie Lowry, MD, MC, USA
Volume: 98 Issue: 6 June, 2005

Abstract:

This report describes a case of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD) that occurred after vaccination in a 22-year-old female. Our patient presented with a clinical syndrome of fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting, which quickly progressed to multiorgan failure and ultimately death on hospital day 4. YEL-AVD is an extremely rare condition reported only a few times in the literature. The yellow fever vaccine is a known stimulus of systemic inflammation in the body. A mild subclinical viremia develops, which results in a persistent and robust T-helper-cell-dependent antibody response with long-lasting immune protection. The very rare patient may have an aberrant response to the 17D vaccine strain, causing the multiple organ system failure seen in YEL-AVD. Predisposing host factors that contribute to YEL-AVD are not yet known. Treatment for YEL-AVD is supportive. To the authors’ knowledge, this patient was the first to have YEL-AVD as a result of standard US military vaccination protocols.

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