Levels of Prevention example: Communicable Disease

We will apply the various levels of prevention to Yellow Fever to understand what we’ve learnt so far.

Yellow fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the yellow fever virus.

India does not have the Yellow Fever virus. However, Aedes aegypti, humans and monkeys are abundant. Since we are all susceptible, even one infected person could trigger an epidemic of Yellow fever in India.

Primordial Prevention: India requires anyone >6 months age travelling from/ via a yellow fever endemic area to India to have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate before entering the country.




Primary Prevention: Assume you are living in a Yellow fever endemic area. You would be advised to receive vaccination against Yellow fever (specific protection). In addition, the public would be advised on how to protect themselves from getting the disease (health promotion).

Secondary Prevention: Assume you travelled to a Yellow fever endemic area and got infected. Considering available facts, you may not develop disease severe enough to kill you. However, will you take that risk? Most likely, no. You would seek confirmation of diagnosis and appropriate treatment as soon as possible.


Tertiary Prevention: One of the complications of Yellow fever is encephalitis. Although no long-term sequelae have been reported, in the short term the following may be required:

Physiotherapy/ physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.


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