Yellow Fever Vaccination: Understanding Why And When

Posted on: 2 February 2021

Yellow fever is a viral disease that can be contracted in some parts of Africa and South America. It's spread by mosquitoes and can be fatal, so some countries require you to have proof of yellow fever vaccination before entry will be permitted. The vaccination is well-established and is considered safe and highly effective against yellow fever. It's a live vaccine given as a single shot, and one shot gives lifelong protection for the disease.

Symptoms Of Yellow Fever

Those who contract yellow fever don't always develop symptoms straight away, but common symptoms of the disease include fever, severe headache and back pain. You may also experience fatigue, muscle weakness, vomiting, bleeding and organ failure. There is no treatment for yellow fever, and those who do not die after contracting the disease may experience long-term tiredness and malaise.

When You Should And Should Not Be Vaccinated

Children and adults should be vaccinated at least a couple of weeks before they travel to a country where there's a risk of yellow fever transmission. It's also considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to receive the vaccination, but you should have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before scheduling your vaccination. Generally speaking, vaccination is required for those travelling to central Africa and the majority of South America, excluding Chile and Argentina. Yellow fever is present in both urban and rural areas, and although it can be contracted at any time of the year, it is particularly prevalent during the rainy season.

There are, however, certain circumstances under which it is not advisable to get a yellow fever vaccination. For example, if you are allergic to any of the vaccine ingredients or if you have undergone an organ transplant, the vaccine is not recommended. As the vaccine is a live vaccine, it's also considered unsuitable for those with a weakened immune system either due to an illness or medication they take. Discuss the suitability of the vaccine with your healthcare provider if you have an underlying health condition that could put you at risk of becoming sick if you receive a live vaccine.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Even though the yellow fever vaccine is considered highly effective, it is still recommended that you take steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes when travelling in countries where yellow fever exists. Easy steps you can take include wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, using an insect repellent and using a mosquito net when sleeping.

If you'd like more information on yellow fever vaccinations, contact your medical centre or local travel clinic.


Health and Medical: Looking After The Heart and Other Organs

Howdy! My name is Jen and this is my new blog. While I am not a medical professional, I do have a good understanding of various medical conditions. I gained this understanding when my son Ben was in and out of the hospital. He was born with a weak heart which meant that he has had to have regular medical check-ups and appointments every few months. He is now 21 years old and he has just had surgery to repair his damaged heart. I decided to start this blog so I could offer advice on various health and medical topics.


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