Sylvatic YF. Sylvatic or Jungle or Campestral Yellow Fever (YF) has the potential to appear by being imported from endemic countries into an environment in which the appropriate vector exists. In our region, known potential vectors of YF are: Haemagogus janthinomys, Hg leucocelanus and Sabethes chloropterus (Tikasingh et al., 1991).
CARPHA Member States (CMS) countries in which potential YF vectors have been recorded are: Belize (Sabethes chloropterus), Guyana (S. chloropterus), Suriname (Hg janthinomys), Tobago (Hg leucocelanus) and Trinidad (Hg janthinomys; Hg leucocelanus; S. chloropterus) (Rawlins et al. 1990).
Ae aegypti, the urban YF vector is present in all CMSs. Urban YF is a rare phenomenon – almost non-existent in modern times in the Caribbean, but it is a distinct possibility. If the YF virus were imported into any urban Caribbean community, the omnipresence of Ae aegypti could facilitate an outbreak of the disease. Thus, if an outbreak of jungle YF occurred and one of the victims say a wood cutter/charcoal burner, farmer, hunter – made his way to an urban environment where Ae aegypti was prevalent, this mosquito could become infected and in turn, on taking a blood meal transmit the virus to an urban population and thus, a potential start of an epidemic.
This is another argument for eliminating Ae aegypti and for preventing the importation of the YF virus into our CMSs. The good news in the case of YF is that there are effective vaccines available to protect communities where YF presents a risk.