Yellow fever is an acute and serious viral disease that can be fatal. It is transmitted by mosquitos. The disease is named after one of the symptoms that patients experience: jaundice in the eyes and skin caused by inflammation of the liver.
The most common symptoms are flu-like, such as fever, muscle ache and headache. After a temporary cure, about 12% develop a second, more serious stage. This includes jaundice, kidney and liver failure, and bleeding. There is no specific cure for yellow fever and the mortality rate is 10-30%. The time from infection to symptoms is about 3-6 days.
Yellow fever occurs in many countries in tropical and subtropical Africa and South America, especially near the equator. Yellow fever is not present in Asia. The risk of becoming ill is also greatly affected by the season at the destination.
Do I need yellow fever vaccination?
You should be vaccinated if you plan to travel to areas where the disease is present. Some countries require International certificate of vaccination i.e yellow card upon arrival. You may also need to provide proof of vaccination if you have made a longer stopover on your way to a destination in a country with yellow fever. The risk of infection can be reduced by protecting against mosquitoes using insect repellents and mosquito nets, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Yellow fever vaccine
Yellow fever vaccine is a live, attenuated vaccine that can be given to children and adults over 9 months of age. The vaccine must be taken at least 10 days before departure and must be recorded on the International Certificate of Vaccination i.e yellow card, which must be presented on arrival. Vaccination of people over 60 years of age should be carefully considered due to the increased risk of side effects. Children under 6 months of age should not be vaccinated at all. According to the World Health Organization, one yellow fever vaccination is enough for a lifetime and no booster is needed.
Yellow fever vaccine is available on our vaccination clinics!