What is yellow fever?
Yellow fever is a viral illness caused by the bite of a mosquito carrying the yellow fever virus. It received its name from the yellow discoloration (jaundice) to some patients’ skin. Yellow fever can cause only mild illness, but it can also be much more severe, damaging primary organs (heart, kidneys, liver) and eventually leading to massive bleeding (hemorrhage) due to liver failure.
What are the symptoms of yellow fever?
- Mild illness includes the following:
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Severe illness includes the following:
- Muscle aches
- Lower-back pain
- Yellow color to the whites of the eyes (jaundice), caused by liver failure
- Lack of urine output, caused by kidney failure
- Internal bleeding caused by liver failure (hemorrhage)
Which countries have yellow fever?
The map below shows countries that require yellow fever vaccination for travelers. Yellow fever is primarily found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameron, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Niger, Togo.
Vaccination is recommended for people nine months or older living or traveling to yellow fever endemic areas shown in the map below.
Ways to prevent contracting yellow fever
- Consult a travel clinic about the risk of yellow fever in the area you intend to visit.
- Protect yourself against nighttime mosquito bites.
- Apply DEET-based insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants if you are outdoors at night.
- Use mosquito nets if your bedroom is not screened or is air-conditioned.
- Spray an insecticide or burn a coil in your bedroom or tent before going to bed.
Travel health tips
Get your travel vaccines at least a month before traveling to be fully protected. However, even a last-minute visit to a healthcare provider can be helpful to get medicines and advice for your trip.
If you take prescription medication:
- Pack enough medication to last for the entire trip, and add medication for extra days in case of delays.
- Carry your medication in the original labeled containers and pack it in your carry-on bag since checked baggage could be delayed or lost.
- Ask your doctor for the generic equivalent name of prescribed medicine if you need to purchase additional medication abroad.
- Keep a copy of your prescription medication with you. Some countries have strict regulations in this regard.
Intercare travel health specialists can make a difference.
They offer the following services:
- Pre and post-travel-related medical services
- Yellow fever vaccinations & record cards
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Travel medication
- Prescribed medication for chronic health conditions
- Advice on travel health aspects
Find your nearest Intercare Travel Clinic, here.