Yellow Fever

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What is It, and where am I at risk?

Yellow Fever disease is found in approximately 45 countries in the world, most of those located in South America and Africa. Please note that not ALL areas of South America or Africa are at risk for yellow fever disease; your risk will be assessed at your clinic visit.

 

Our clinicians will assess your risk for yellow fever disease based on weekly updated information from the World Health Organizations and the Centers for Disease Control.

 

This disease is spread by a day-time biting mosquito; it is not spread from one person to another directly.

Symptoms and Preventative Measures:

The disease gets its name from jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin. The yellow fever disease has a short incubation rate – only 3 to 6 days. This disease should be taken seriously, it can have a death rate of 20-50%!

 

Bleeding from multiple body sites


Respiratory failure


Yellowing of skin and eyes (Jaundice)


Organ failure (kidney, liver)


Best treatment = prevention!

 

Travelers can protect themselves from yellow fever by getting the yellow fever vaccine and preventing mosquito bites. (CDC.gov/yellow fever 5/8/2013) The vaccine is safe for most people to get. While there are some risks over age 60, age alone is not a contraindication.

During your visit, you will discuss risk factors and any health risks for the disease. It is a “live” vaccine, so other live vaccines (MMR, chicken pox, shingles) will need to be given on the same day, or a month apart.

Preventative measures to minimize risk of mosquito bites include:

Minimize exposed skin, wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hat.


Preferably treat clothing with appropriate insect repellent for added protection. (Products with DEET, Picardin, OLE, or PMD.)


Treat exposed skin with appropriate insect repellent. (If using sunscreen, apply that first, followed by insect repellent last)


Opt for screened or air-conditioned room, or bed nets if sleeping outdoors.


Sources: CDC Yellow Book, CDC Disease Directory

What does it mean that the Yellow Fever Vaccine is Required for my Trip?

Depending on the specific itinerary of a traveler, proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries.

Ideally, you should receive the vaccine at least 10 days before your trip, and the vaccine lasts for 10 years. Once a patient has received a yellow fever vaccine, they are issued a “yellow fever certificate” which is valid for 10 years. We recommend keeping the yellow fever certificate (yellow card) in the traveler’s passport, just in case a customs agent asks to review it in the trips ahead.

NOTE: CDC’s recommendation is different from the country’s requirement. A vaccine recommendation is designed to keep you from getting yellow fever; a vaccine requirement is the country’s attempt to keep travelers from bringing the yellow fever virus into the country. CDC does not have any control over other countries’ vaccine requirements or how they are enforced. (CDC.gov/yellow fever 5/8/2013)