- What is yellow fever?
- How is yellow fever prevented?
What is yellow
Yellow fever is a viral disease which is
transmitted by mosquitoes. It only occurs in Africa and South America.
In Africa the disease may occur in savannah
zones in West and Central Africa during the rainy season. There are occasional
outbreaks in urban locations and villages and also in jungles.
In South America, infection occurs mainly
in people working in forestry and agriculture who are likely to have exposure
How is yellow fever prevented?
Yellow fever is in fact a rare cause of illness
in travellers. However, affected countries have very strict regulations in relation
to vaccination. Vaccination followed by an international certificate of vaccination
is needed to meet entry and exit requirements. If a traveller cannot accept
the vaccination for medical reasons, a medical waiver is necessary.
In Ireland there are a number of government-designated
yellow fever vaccination centres which are either travel medicine centres or
GP surgeries. A single dose gives protection for 10 years. If you are travelling
to a country where a certificate is required, you will need to visit your GP
of travel vaccine centre well in advance.
The vaccine is contraindicated in:
- Infants less than four months old.
- Pregnant women.
- People who are hypersensitive to eggs.
- Those with an immunosuppressed condition.
Travellers should take the usual precautions
to avoid mosquito bites including use of insect repellent, wearing protective
clothing and using mosquito netting at night. Mosquitoes are a major cause of
illness in tropical countries such as malaria and dengue fever and preventive
measures can play a role in avoiding illness among travellers.