What is it?

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.  It gets its name from the yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) that occurs when the virus attacks the liver. Yellow fever can be prevented by a vaccine.

What is my risk?

The risk is low for most travellers, but it may be higher for those who are going to areas of risk and who are staying for an extended period of time, visiting rural or jungle areas, or participating in outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, cycling or fieldwork.

How is it transmitted?

Yellow fever is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes, mainly the Aedes species in Africa and the Haemagogus species in South America.

Mosquitoes that spread yellow fever typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can take 3 to 6 days to appear.

Initial symptoms usually include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, back pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, weakness and dehydration. Most patients recover after this stage.

In severe cases, the disease can lead to shock, internal bleeding, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) and organ failure. This occurs in about 15% of patients, half of whom will die within 10-14 days.

Can it be treated?

There is no specific treatment for yellow fever, only supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

How can I prevent it?

  1. Get the Yellow Fever vaccine (You should receive this vaccine at least 10 days before your trip, After receiving the vaccine, you will receive a signed and stamped International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, which you must bring with you on your trip to some countries, The vaccine lasts for life for most people, but a booster after 10 years is recommended for certain people.

  2. Protect yourself from mosquito bite by using DEET-containing products and covering exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shits, long pants and hats